While the trend of in-house departments bolstering their internal capability and cutting reliance on external counsel is well established, Royal Dutch Shell’s legal head Peter Rees QC has taken the logic to the extreme.
Since replacing Beat Hess as the global energy group’s legal director in January 2011 Rees has pushed through major changes, restructuring Shell’s around 750-lawyer department and kicking off a far-reaching global panel review. Continue reading “All change at Shell – legal head pushes through shake-up and puts final touches to global panel review”
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.
Continue reading “In-house survey: Horses for courses”
Over the past decade panels have defined the relationship between law firms and the major banks. But as the nature of those relationships shifts, panels are becoming even more important
Mark Harding insists there’s been a shift of power. ‘Previously, with a lot of work, the boot was always on the law firm foot,’ Barclays’ general counsel asserts. ‘Now the boot is on the other foot.’ Coming from one of the most senior GCs in the City, head of a 900-strong in-house team with a legal spend of £100m, it’s something to take note of. Continue reading “Under review”