An article by Thomson Hildebrandt consultants in Exec. Counsel, April/May 2010 at 27, mentions differences in cost per hour of inside lawyers and outside counsel. As found by the group’s survey, “the fully-loaded inside hourly cost per lawyer is $214. The effective rate of outside counsel is 35-50 percent higher.”
That would put outside counsel at $290 per hour to $320 per hour, which seems light to me on the external side. Perhaps the external rate covers only lawyers and what they bill, but does not load in paralegals, other timekeepers or disbursements. Major US law departments push into the low $200s for their all-in attorney rate. The General Counsel Metrics survey shows for 225 US departments a median cost per lawyer hour of $191.