Measuring total hours of legal advice given

An article stated that National Australia Bank’s “in-house team … delivered 450,000 hours of legal advice to its internal clients globally using both internal and external resources.” That impressive number provoked an idea.

The NAB law department that year numbered 200, which included about 120 lawyers. At 1,800 chargeable hours per lawyer, the inside total reaches about 216,000 hours, which means, with paralegal time included, about the same number of external counsel hours. Here is a metric that does not look at cost but only at hours. (See my post of Oct.18, 2005 on calculating fully-loaded cost per lawyer hour.)

For competitive bidding processes, by the way, it is better to tell firms about hours of work expected than it is to tell them about how much you plan to spend (or spent in the past). Giving them monetary amounts will anchor their thinking around that figure. Also, you will diminish the savings you achieve from lower-cost law firms.

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