This browser is not actively supported anymore. For the best passle experience, we strongly recommend you upgrade your browser.
hero image of people sitting with documents near table


| 1 minute read

Lateral War Rages Over CMOs In Law Firms

Here at Passle, we have the pleasure of working with some brilliant CMOs and their teams at law firms. Over the past few years though, we have seen a lot of movement in the market, especially at the top level.  Whilst selfishly for us, this can often lead to new opportunities to sell our solution to new firms, it has often been a point of debate as to why retention isn't sometimes higher and why the landscape often resembles that of a sports league.

Some recent research by BTI consulting has shed some light on this.  The research carried out spans the last 3 years and picks up on some interesting themes.

Overall Numbers To Take Note Of:

  • 28% of CMOs moved firms
  • 2/3rds of these were lateral hires
  • Another 18% left the legal space

Top Reasons For CMO Change:

  • Compensation 
  • New Challenges
  • Perceived a more welcoming environment
  • Not appreciated enough in current role
  • Leadership change in current role

What This Means For Law Firms:

  • Successful CMOs come with strategies that they are looking to execute.  This can lead to significant improvements over time for the law firm.
  • CMOs need time- at least two years as well as patience and investment from the firm.
  • Law firm leaders will need to embrace their CMO whilst giving them a voice and authority to act. This will then lead to much-needed retention.
  • More law firms are investing in marketing initiatives
  • Competition is high and so it will remain challenging to keep good CMOs

The article concludes by arguing that CMOs can also play a vital connector role between law firms and their clients to help solidify relationships.

We have seen time and again great CMOs be hugely successful because they have a plan that is trusted, they have immediate 'trophy projects' that show quick wins and they have the backing of both their own team and the firm leadership.  

CMOs are now part of the strategic battleground for market success. Their market value is up — as is their value to law firms. CMOs will go where they are most respected — and more CMOs know this than law firms. Until this equation reverses, look for the turnover rates to remain high


cmo, e2e, professional services, marketing, leadership, legal