A statement not to be believed about widespread penetration of reverse auctions for legal services

“Ariba Inc., the maker of one of the main reverse-auction software tools, claims that around 40% of today’s market for legal work – a threefold increase from just a few years ago – is contracted through electronic, online means, most of which involve a reverse auction, according to Sunda Kamakshisundaran, a marketing manager for the company.”

This statement is risible. Today’s “market for legal work” in the U.S. likely exceeds $100 billion. If “most” retentions of outside counsel “involve a reverse auction” – with real-time bids submitted online and revised downward, I’ll eat my hat. The Wall St. J., Aug. 1, 2011, which published this in an article about the purported rise in reverse actions, should know better. A vendor’s self-serving, ambiguous, preposterous assertion should not be printed unchallenged.

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