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Best Practice: Law Firm Marketing - Client Development for an Insurance Defense Firm

Asked and Answered

By John W. Olmstead, MBA, Ph.D, CMC

Q. I am the managing partner of a thirty attorney insurance defense firm in Arlington, Texas. While we are still in our first generation - several of our partners are approaching retirement and some of our relationships in our insurance company clients are also retiring. We are looking for ways to shore up and expand our client base. We would appreciate your suggestions.

A. You need to get on more "approved lists" of insurance companies. Once you are on these lists you have to entice claims manager to use you as opposed to other law firms that are on their approved lists. In other words, establish relationships with numerous claims managers throughout the company. This is harder than it used to be due to policies that many companies now have prohibiting various forms of networking such as dinners, gifts, ball games, etc. Now days it seems that educational venues is one of the few formats that is not frowned upon. 

Here are a few ideas to get started:

Become involved in every possible organization that involves insurance claims, ACCA, and other such groups.

  1. Join and become actively involved in these groups.
  2. Offer to give speeches and presentations to these groups.
  3. Develop relationships with news reporters and have an effective public relations program that insures that you get all the PR you can when you have successful outcomes in your cases.
  4. Speak at ACCA and RIMS (Risk Insurance Management Society) conferences.
  5. Form alliances with bigger regional and national insurance defense firms.
  6. Research target companies and make application to get on their approved lists.
  7. Obtain listings in A.M. Best and Martindale.
  8. Get on the speaker list with seminars groups that target the insurance industry client industry - for example Perrin Conferences.
  9. Have a quality website that demonstrates expertise and an e-newsletter that provides information that will help claims managers and adjuster be more successful.

Click here for our blog on strategy

Click here for our article on insurance defense practice strategies

John W. Olmstead, MBA, Ph.D, CMC, ( is a past chair and member of the ISBA Standing Committee on Law Office Management and Economics and author of The Lawyers Guide to Succession Planning published by the ABA. For more information on law office management please direct questions to the ISBA listserver, which John and other committee members review, or view archived copies of The Bottom Line Newsletters. Contact John at

Posted on September 28, 2016 by Morgan Yingst
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