The moderating influence of client sophistication on relationships within business-to-business credence service markets
Purpose: This paper reports on a study which aims to identify the characteristics and determinants of client sophistication within the UK corporate legal services market and to investigate its affect in determining the nature and essence of client-solicitor relationships. Methodology/Approach: Uses depth interviews of a range of individuals involved in the selection and evaluation of legal services used by their organisations and practice lawyers working for a variety of regional and national law firms involved in the delivery of legal advice related to corporate and commercial issues. Findings: Findings suggest the level of client sophistication has a moderating influence in a number of key areas. These are identified as: service evaluation criteria; interdependency and power; the atmosphere in which solicitor-client interactions take place and relationships develop; the nature of joint personal relational goals and the role of trust and extent of commitment.