International Society of Primerus Law Firms Frequently Asked Questions
1. Q: How long has Primerus been around?
A: Primerus was started in 1992. Beginning with a few member law firms, Primerus has steadily grown over the years, has internationalized, and now boasts nearly 200 member law firms from every corner of the world.
2. Q: Is my firm or is one attorney within my firm the actual Primerus member?
A: Primerus members are the law firms (i.e. not any particular attorney within the firm)
3. Q: How does Primerus choose its members?
A: Primerus’ staff meticulously researches a legal market, evaluating multiple factors prior to informing a law firm that they are a candidate for membership. These factors include, but are not limited to, the following: 1) Whether a current member has nominated the firm to join Primerus; 2) Whether a firm, if located in the United States, has achieved a Martindale-Hubbell AV-Rating; 3) Whether the firm is referenced and well-regarded by other international legal ratings services such as Chambers and the Legal 500; 4) Whether the firm enjoys a high standing in their legal community for their professionalism and quality of work product; and, 5) Size of the firm and the breadth of its practice.
4. Q: If our firm joins Primerus, is the firm barred from participation in other associations?
A: No. We understand and appreciate that your firm and its attorneys have developed relationships with other organizations, and we don’t in any way want to disturb them. As you will come to see, Primerus will be a vehicle to extend your firm’s reach to other attorneys and clients throughout the world, but not at the expense of your firm’s current and past relationships and associations.
5. Q: Where do you plan to put member firms?
A: Wherever there is a commercial center that has a recognized legal system, then Primerus will search for a quality law firm to acquire an available license.
6. Q: Is our firm’s Primerus license exclusive?
A: Yes. Your firm will be the only firm from your market that practices in your area(s) of law. Primerus maintains three separate and distinct institutes in the United States. The Primerus Personal Injury Institute (PPII) consists of US law firms that predominantly handle plaintiff/personal injury litigation, plaintiff product liability litigation, and a wide assortment of cases representing individuals in litigation matters. The Primerus Defense Institute (PDI) consists of law firms that handle predominantly tort defense litigation on behalf of individuals, insurance companies, self-insured companies, and business clients of all types. The Primerus Business Law Institute (PBLI) consists of law firms that predominantly handle transactional and business litigation on behalf of clients. Thus, in larger U.S. metropolitan markets, Primerus provides market exclusivity on a practice area basis. Thus, it’s common for Primerus to have a PCLI, PDI, and PBLI law firm happily co-existing within the same market. However, only one such firm per institute exists in each market.Outside of the U.S., Primerus provides strict market exclusivity based on geographic area (e.g. Primerus will only have one member representing Singapore in the society).
7. Q: What is the average size of a Primerus member firm?
A: To be precise, 15 attorneys. That said, you will find that Primerus’ U.S. plaintiff’s members are small by nature and Primerus’ business and litigation firms are typically larger. The “15” figure is simply an average.
8. Q: What is the financial commitment for my firm to be a Primerus member?
A: The monthly dues vary depending on the market for which your firm is located. Please contact Primerus staff more information.
9. Q: Are members required to attend Primerus events?
A: No. Members are not required to attend events. However, we suggest that members attend Primerus events as they are an excellent way to develop relationships with clients and members. Over and over again, we find that the happiest members are those that are involved.
10. Q: How can I become involved once I join?
A: There are many, many ways members can become involved in Primerus. The following are just some of the ways: 1) Attend the Primerus Global Conference; 2) Attend annual practice group and regional meetings; 3) Attend practice group conference calls and webinars; 4) Write articles for Primerus publications; 5) Take a leadership position in a Primerus practice group, committee or board.
11. Q: How do members interact with one another?
A: Here, again, there are many ways members can interact and work together. The following are just some of the ways in which members interact: 1) Attend Primerus sponsored meetings, symposia and seminars, and great relationships invariably flow from there; 2) Participate in practice groups where experienced and sophisticated practitioners discuss salient issues within their practice area and plan client webinars for educational purposes; 3) Utilize the Primerus listservs for quick answers to practical legal questions; 4) Join one or more of the committees and boards that help lead Primerus.
12. Q: Will Primerus expand my internet presence?
A: Yes. Primerus constructs a comprehensive home page together with practice area pages on www.primerus.com for all members. Those pages are search engine optimized (SEO).* Most small and mid-sized law firms cannot afford a premium SEO service. Primerus provides a premium SEO service to its members as just one membership benefit. Your firm will no longer have to take a backseat to your larger competitors that have been optimizing their websites for years. Your firm will gain competitive parity with larger firms in your market and a clear competitive advantage against similarly sized firms in your market that cannot afford SEO. Our overarching purpose is to give your firm as much exposure as possible. SEO is simply one way that we accomplish this goal.*For example, let’s say that a manufacturer located in Toronto, Canada, is sued in Budapest, Hungary. Anecdotal evidence and various accounts support the proposition that that manufacturer will simply make a generalized search on Google to find qualified counsel. We want to ensure that your firm is found on the first-page of the results. Primerus’ premium SEO service will better position the Budapest member to possibly get a call from this fictitious Toronto manufacturer.
13. Q: Are we required to refer client matters to other Primerus member firms?
A: No. All Primerus member firms are completely independent and autonomous. While we strongly believe that you’ll find great value in retaining member firms, you and your partners have no obligation to do so. Indeed, you will find that our members, rigorously screened and fully vetted, will treat your valued clients well and provide superb service at a reasonable fee.
14. Q: How do referrals work?
A: Members and clients alike simply go to www.primerus.com to find suitable representation based on jurisdiction and the type of matter involved. Also, members and clients contact us on a daily basis asking for attorney recommendations and we swiftly put the inquiring party to together with the appropriate attorney. The QAB mandates that referrals made from one member to another or from clients be reported to Primerus for recording purposes. Finally, Primerus has no financial stake in referrals made within the society. The members’ dues are the only remuneration that Primerus receives.
15. Q: How does Primerus enforce the Six Pillars?
A: As mentioned, applicants for Primerus membership are rigorously screened to ensure that they meet our code of professional conduct; a.k.a. the Six Pillars – Integrity, Excellence of Work Product, Reasonable Fee Structure, Continued Legal Education, Civility and Community Service. Members are annually audited to ensure continued adherence to the Six Pillars. Finally, Primerus’ Quality Assurance Board (QAB) adjudicates disputes that could possibly arise between members. Primerus’ goal, as always, is that clients receive first-class service.