A viewpoint that leaves me doubtful about its validity came from a panelist at the SuperConference. He said the just know and describing your data about spending “shows your client your value.”
I suppose that compared to a black box legal department that simply says, “We spend $5.2 million last year on outside counsel,” your value to your client corporation is clearer when you have charts that break down that spend by law firm, by matter, by business unit that incurs it, by type of work. In other words, hide nothing, disclose as much as you can, and let clients know that you know as much as possible about your spending. Some clients perceive that as illuminating and they understand what you are doing and therefore value you more. Slightly more demanding lawyers might want to know whether the elaborately described spending was well spent.