In-House GCs Can't Afford to Manage Outside Counsel
As a general matter, companies bring in outside help when they're too short-staffed to handle matters in-house. But corporate legal departments are so understaffed these days they can't even hire reinforcements or outsource the work because they don't have the time to manage outside firms, reports The National Law Journal.
According to a study by BTI Consulting Group, in-house counsel are cutting down on the number of outside firms they work with because they just don't have the time to manage them. Of the 550 companies surveyed, the majority expect to use an average of two primary law firms by 2012 and six secondary firms. By contrast, in 2007, companies on average worked with two primary firms and 10 secondary firms. Companies also indicated that they lacked patience for law firms that are not flexible in billing.
In addition, the survey showed that large companies aren't limiting their options to Am Law 100 firms. In 2007, 64 percent of the firms retained by the companies surveyed were in the Am Law 100; in 2008, that number dropped to 36 percent. And in 2008, 38 percent of companies used firms outside of Am Law 200, an increase over the 25 percent that went outside in 2007.
Should top firms be worried? Or is it just smaller matters being outsourced outside Am Law 200 while the top firms are still keeping the largest, most lucrative matters?
Posted by Carolyn Elefant on July 20, 2009 at 04:00 PM | Permalink
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