In-house survey – Money for nothing

In-house survey – Money for nothing

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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In-house survey: Redressing the balance

In-house survey: Redressing the balance

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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In-house survey: power shift

In-house survey: power shift

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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No drop in demand for external legal advice

Results from our first-ever in-house survey show that companies’ legal budgets have largely stayed the same or even increased while demand for external services has risen, debunking the myth that widespread cuts to legal budgets have forced general counsel (GC) to instruct law firms less.

Canvassing the views of more than 100 in-house lawyers worldwide, the survey showed that 50% of respondents’ legal services budgets remained unchanged in the last year, while 44% said that demand for external legal services had increased over the same period. This was despite the fact that 67% said their companies had a policy of retaining more matters in-house.

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