Does the “predictive accuracy of outside counsel” constitute a meaningful metric?

Rob Thomas, Vice President, Strategic Development, Serengeti Law, offers his “Top 10 Methods To Manage Outside Counsel,” courtesy of ACC.

As part of a broader recommendation – to save money by means of post mortems – Thomas would have law departments assess the “predictive accuracy of outside counsel.” Does that mean to ask the law firm to forecast the ultimate settlement amount and when it will be achieved? Those outcomes are not in control of the law firm. Does it mean to ask outside counsel to predict when the deal will close? Likewise, outside their scope of control. And for all crystal-ball pronouncements, at what point in a matter is a prediction justifiable as a basis for later judging the firm’s predictive accuracy?

I do not think that this characteristic of a law firm is a meaningful component for evaluation of a firm’s performance or a way to save outside counsel fees.

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