I am already on record in opposition to outside counsel guidelines, on the grounds that they have not been proven effective (See my post of Aug. 1, 2006.). Not that I would recommend law departments to discard them entirely, but that they should keep the guidelines basic and not have them serve as the bulwark of their defense against cost incursions.
Does it make a difference to have the managing partner of its major firms certify each year that the firm is in compliance with the department’s outside counsel guidelines? That partner has no true accountability, no skin in the game, because if a law department is dissatisfied with the firm’s performance it will stop using it. It does not fine the managing partner or threaten her with indictment. If guidelines be nugatory, certification is chimerical.