Good relationships between lawyers and clients allow for more risk and more creativity which ultimately adds more value all round, writes Geoff Wild.
Do our clients want to work in the safe ground, where their creativity has a firmer foundation, or do they want to shift to the less secure ground where the rewards may be higher but where their own creativity also carries more risk?
Much depends on the legal issues at stake. But, as a rule, good relationships between lawyers and clients allow for more risk and more creativity. Less stable relationships force a move towards a more conservative approach.
It is very hard to give very creative solutions if the relationship with the client is not good. It is equally hard for a client to accept more risk when they have some reservations about the lawyer. It is also the case, however, that the more creative a solution, the more valuable it becomes.
The lesson here is that creativity is a good thing, but only if the client has sufficient trust in the relationship. So the task of the lawyer, and over which we have considerable control, is to build and strengthen the relationships we have with our clients in order to increase their trust in us and our value to them.