Good metrics evaluate in-house performance and outside counsel performance on same matters (NCR)

I was struck by the statement in an article, Corp. Legal Times, Vol. 14, May 2004 at 24, that “NCR’s metrics system allows for comparative measurement of the performance of both in-house and outside counsel working on an issue.” The piece refers to the evaluation factors on which they score outside counsel – timeliness, accessibility, knowledge and expense – but says nothing more about the comparative internal evaluations.

One can imagine that if the inside lawyers track their time by matters, someone could compare inside to outside hours. Perhaps some rule of thumb applies: for every five inside hours, outside counsel typically bill twenty (or some number) of hours. Timeliness for inside counsel seems like it should parallel the timeliness of outside counsel, and accessibility should rarely be a concern – we know where the inside lawyer’s office is located! Perhaps budget management is the inside equivalent of outside counsel’s fees. In brief, how does the comparison work?

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