A doughty, we-can-do-it-ourselves ethos puts quality of legal services provided in doubt

“A legal department which claims a high degree of self-sufficiency and prides itself on doing as much as possible in-house can be a cause for concern“ writes Mark Prebble, Managing In-House Legal Services: Providing High Value Support for Your Organisation (Thorogood 2009) at 18. I agree. Begrudging the use of external counsel can lead to disaster. Some legal departments may have to forego some outside expertise because of budget constraints, but eventually and inevitably issues arise that go beyond what the internal team (or solo lawyer) can competently handle (See my post of July 8, 2008: the autarkic department of Respironics.).

For good reasons in-house groups turn to outside counselors for roughly half of their total budget (See my post of March 29, 2009: 40/60 ratio of inside-to-outside spend with 18 references.). To boast that you are tough and capable and that you don’t need to waste the company’s money on high-priced partners is a fool’s errand.

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