EMEA general counsel
Bank of America Merrill Lynch
Sajid Hussein’s experience at Bank of America Merrill Lynch has certainly prepared him for exciting challenges. When he joined Bank of America in 2005, he couldn’t have known that within three years he would be working on one of the biggest deals of his life.
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Chief legal officer and group managing director
Stuart Levey joined HSBC in London in January 2012. His hire was a key part of HSBC’s efforts to restructure, reform, and bring on board new leadership to implement HSBC’s new global business strategy and respond most effectively to high-profile investigations in the US.
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Group general counsel
Few general counsel attract the levels of respect from fellow in-house lawyers that Mark Harding, group general counsel at Barclays, commands. He was the first chairman of the GC100, which elevated his profile among his in-house counterparts, and he remains active in the organisation. He firmly believes that the in-house community has a duty to work together to reform the relationship between the client and private practice firms.
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In finding value for money, in-house lawyers rate quality of service very highly. Here we assess their attitudes to overlawyering, offshoring and global networks.
The devil is in the delivery. While the cost of external legal advice is a priority for general counsel (GC), how that service is delivered to clients is no less critical. Fundamental issues such as using the appropriate level of resources; offshoring parts of the job to cheaper jurisdictions; offering proactive advice; and managing projects effectively across borders all have a knock-on effect on the value of law firm advice. With this in mind, we asked our survey participants to give us their thoughts on how strong law firms are at service delivery.
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Despite constant talk that hourly billing is dead, our survey shows otherwise. In-house lawyers’ responses on fees contain a few surprises
One of the standout findings of our survey is that hourly billing is still alive and kicking. The hourly rate is often used as a billing method by 59% of respondents, with just 4% never using it.
However, it isn’t the most popular method of billing among clients: in these austere times, it is unsurprising that fixed rates per project dominate. Over two-thirds (70%) of respondents said they often use1§§ this method of paying their legal fees, with just 5% saying they never use it. Other methods such as capped fees, annual fixed fees, and discounted rates are used, but the fixed project fee and the hourly rate still lead the way.
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Demand for external law firms is increasing but choosing the right law firm is more difficult than ever. Time to examine the factors determining law firm selection
Despite the pressure on in-house teams to reduce their legal spend and keep as much work in-house as possible, demand for external legal services has still managed to grow. The in-house specialists who took part in this survey spend an average of 49% of their legal budgets on external legal advice, while 44% said demand for external legal services had increased in the last year, while 40% said demand was unchanged. This is despite the fact an overwhelming 67% of respondents say their companies now have a policy of retaining more matters in-house to reduce legal spend. While the contradiction is confusing, the upshot is clear: in-house teams need their law firms now more than ever.
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Extracting greater value from dwindling resources is top of the agenda as general counsel look to flex their muscles. Welcome to our first-ever in-house survey
‘It’s just like a marriage: a relationship between a law firm and a company is one that needs to be nurtured to make sure both are on the same page.’ This comment from a law firm partner rings particularly true as we publish the results of the first-ever Legal Business and The In-House Lawyer in-house survey. In this special report, we find out whether clients believe law firms and themselves are truly on the same page.
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In the first of a series of looks at the UK’s top in-house lawyers, LB profiles a few GCs who are turning heads in the property market
There was a time when private practice lawyers looked down their noses at their in-house counterparts. The logic went that in-housers had swapped the fat fees of private practice for an easier life that would let them get home in time for tea. But not anymore. Over the past few years, the role of the in-house lawyer has grown from taking a back seat to outside counsel to becoming the true powerbrokers in their respective fields.
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