The Association of Corporate Counsel and Serengeti Law have released their 10th annual “Managing Outside Counsel” survey. The press release is here, and there is more information from Serengeti and ACC.
Concerns about outside counsel costs are a consistent theme over the 10 years of this survey. Not surprisingly, major lessons flow from this cost-control mantra:
â€¢ In-house counsel are now requiring project management techniques and systems to obtain better value from firms, even as a precondition for hiring.
â€¢ These same in-house counsel are also asserting themselves into staffing decisions, demanding transparent budgets, and deciding on technology for e-billing and other process milestones.
â€¢ A continued shift of legal work from outside firms to law departments, a trend that is expected to continue.
â€¢ While the billable hour is still the standard or default method used by most law firms, clients are more open to alternative fee arrangements based on value-driven results.
â€¢ Law firms are moving away from the significant annual hourly rate increases they imposed throughout the last decade.
There are deeper insights that can be drawn from these findings coordinated by ACC and Serengeti. I will be talking to one of the survey architects and post a summary later this week.