Innovating Client Relationships in Intellectual Property Protection – A Case Study with the L&R Group of Companies
When you work in Intellectual Property law, you know a thing or two about creativity. This creative spark is the catalyst that propelled Kenneth L. Sherman, the Managing Partner of Sherman IP to rethink how Sherman IP approaches the traditional attorney client relationship. After hearing from clients about how many traditional law firms left them feeling resentful even after a successful outcome, Sherman IP knew it was time to re-work how lawyers and clients work together. Many clients felt there was just a lack of transparency and control over what is happening in their cases and how much should be budgeted for the project. Sherman IP devised a new approach for legal services that focuses on efficiency, eliminates ambiguity, and provides exceptional services and cost savings to its clients. Sherman IP began testing and rolling out these techniques and technologies in 2015 with its trademark practice and clients have noticed a difference.
A Legacy to Protect: The L&R Group of Companies Owning the Brands WallyPark® and Joe’s AutoParks®
The L&R Group of Companies manage airport and urban parking facilities in major metropolitan areas throughout the United States under the brands WallyPark®, Joe’s AutoParks® and others. Their Intellectual Property (IP) portfolio includes an assortment of trademarks and copyrights related to their business. L&R has an IP legacy of over six decades which they protect through IP-focused legal services.
Denise Rosemont, Senior Paralegal at The L&R Group of Companies, explains their challenges in securing fair and equitable billing for their IP protection needs prior to their relationship with Sherman IP LLP.
“Our previous IP firm’s billing was highly speculative and dilatory – we were constantly being billed for things like phone calls and messages and email reviews, along with our litigation and filing needs, and felt we were being double-billed for time as a result,” says Rosemont. “When our Of Counsel attorney recommended Sherman IP, we were willing to try a different firm if it translated into financial and time savings.”
Sherman IP LLP’s approach provided Rosemont and her team at L&R control over the management of their IP legal services, and insight into the provision of those services. With their use of technology-based processes, Sherman IP was able to eliminate the phone and email review charges charged by L&R’s previous firm, saving them thousands of dollars each month in fees and significantly improving their satisfaction with their IP legal services.
“We came to Sherman in an effort to feel better served by our IP legal services, and we’ve stayed with them after nearly a year because they’ve developed a business model that I like and that works for our company,” says Rosemont. “Their professionalism and efficiency are wonderful, and we appreciate that they listen to us and do as we request on our accounts – it’s a responsive, client-directed approach that is both refreshing and incredibly valuable.”
Flexibility and Applicability Across Industries
The L&R Group of Companies’ experience isn’t unique amongst Sherman IP clients. The pioneering nature of the Sherman IP approach is evidenced in its ability to bring value to all clients, regardless of business type, industry, or size.
“What we’ve done is created innovation for the IP protection space, for all client types,” says Sherman. “We’re giving clients transparency and managerial control, eliminating billing risk for the law firm, and producing a work environment that’s based on mutual trust and collaboration. It’s a legal framework for the 21st century.”
Building Client Confidence with Transparent Technology
The Sherman IP approach uses technology to build transparency and efficiency on all fronts, and Sherman IP’s design puts clients first. The result is a better client experience and higher overall client satisfaction.
By leveraging technology, Sherman IP brings transparency to the IP protection legal process. Utilizing a proprietary series of online portals, streamlined forms, limited scope engagement agreements, flat fee services for common filings, and online billing and payment systems, the Sherman IP client finds themselves fully aware of their IP project’s intricacies, and in control of the attorney-client interactions and cost needed to achieve the level of legal protection they require.
Sherman IP’s goal in implementing this technological approach is to bring a previously unknown transparency to the legal process, resulting in greater client confidence.
“Traditionally, clients had no insight into the complexity of the work being done on their behalf, and no appreciation for the time or expense incurred to complete their legal tasks. People assumed – oftentimes correctly – that it was cost-prohibitive to work with lawyers. This assumption made it difficult to be a lawyer as well! We really wanted clients to value the contributions we make to their business, and the difficulties of billing often overshadowed that,” explains Sherman. “By employing technology in our billing processes, we were able to give clients peace of mind that their legal services are cost-effective and a valuable part of their business strategy.”
Sherman continues, “The reluctance to retain experienced legal help is a huge liability for businesses. Whether you’re an inventor, a small startup with a profitable idea or a large company with valuable brands, the need to protect your IP is essential to the longevity of your business. We didn’t want billing and an expectation of unwelcomed surprise to become a barrier to innovation and legal protection, so we created this client-centric approach.”