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New survey outlines how corporate law departments are cutting costs

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Chief legal officers have turned to negotiating price reductions with outside counsel, doing more work in house, and greater use of technology in efforts to control costs, according to a survey released Wednesday by legal management consulting firm Altman Weil Inc.

More than three-fourths of chief legal officers have negotiated price reductions from outside counsel, with almost half receiving an average reduction of between 6 and 10 percent. Close to 20 percent negotiated discounts between 11 and 15 percent.

But CLOs don’t just want the most services possible for the least amount of money. The majority of respondents preferred transparent pricing or guaranteed pricing. Only about 10 percent said they wanted the lowest price available.

Many corporate law departments plan on adding more staff in the next year; 42 percent report they plan to add in-house lawyers. Nearly 30 percent also plan on decreasing their use of outside counsel.

But in-house attorneys aren’t immune to the negative effects of the cost-control measures. Respondents plan on shifting in-house work from lawyers to paraprofessionals, using contract lawyers and technology tools to increase efficiency, and outsourcing to non-law firm vendors.

The survey also shows that CLOs have little hope that law firms will change their services to better meet the needs and demands of corporate law departments. For the fifth straight year, the survey asked CLOs to rate how serious law firms are about changing their legal service delivery model to provide greater value – and for the fifth year, the median rating was “3” on a scale of 0 (not at all serious) to 10 (doing everything they can).

Another interesting result from the survey: Two-thirds of respondents think chief legal officers have more difficult jobs as compared to managing partners.

Of the 1,269 corporate law departments invited to participate, 207 responded to the 2013 survey.  Altman Weil has compiled this survey since 2000.

The complete survey is available on Altman Weil’s website.
 

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  1. Uh oh, someone is really going to get their panti ... uh, um ... I mean get upset now: http://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2015/mar/31/arkansas-passes-indiana-style-religious-freedom-bill

  2. Bryan, stop insulting the Swedes by comparing them to the American oligarchs. Otherwise your point is well taken.

  3. Sociologist of religion Peter Berger once said that the US is a “nation of Indians ruled by Swedes.” He meant an irreligious elite ruling a religious people, as that Sweden is the world’s least religious country and India the most religious. The idea is that American social elites tend to be much less religious than just about everyone else in the country. If this is true, it helps explain the controversy raking Indiana over Hollywood, San Fran, NYC, academia and downtown Indy hot coals. Nevermind logic, nevermind it is just the 1993 fed bill did, forget the Founders, abandon of historic dedication to religious liberty. The Swedes rule. You cannot argue with elitists. They have the power, they will use the power, sit down and shut up or feel the power. I know firsthand, having been dealt blows from the elite's high and mighty hands often as a mere religious plebe.

  4. I need helping gaining custody of my 5 and 1 year old from my alcoholic girlfriend. This should be an easy case for any lawyer to win... I've just never had the courage to take her that far. She has a record of public intox and other things. She has no job and no where to live othe than with me. But after 5 years of trying to help her with her bad habit, she has put our kids in danger by driving after drinking with them... She got detained yesterday and the police chief released my kids to me from the police station. I live paycheck to paycheck and Im under alot of stress dealing with this situation. Can anyone please help?

  5. The more a state tries to force people to associate, who don't like each other and simply want to lead separate lives, the more that state invalidates itself....... This conflict has shown clearly that the advocates of "tolerance" are themselves intolerant, the advocates of "diversity" intend to inflict themselves on an unwilling majority by force if necessary, until that people complies and relents and allows itself to be made homogenous with the politically correct preferences of the diversity-lobbies. Let's clearly understand, this is force versus force and democracy has nothing to do with this. Democracy is a false god in the first place, even if it is a valid ideal for politics, but it is becoming ever more just an empty slogan that just suckers a bunch of cattle into paying their taxes and volunteering for stupid wars.

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