Is it possible with legal departments that the less you spend inside the more you spend outside? Not as a percentage of total spending, because that calculation must total 100 percent: if you spend 30 percent inside you must spend 70 percent outside. What I mean is the ratio between the fully-loaded cost per inside legal staff hour compared to the effective rate of all outside counsel (fees and disbursements).
My speculation is that with fewer or not as good resources inside – as reflected by their cost, which is mostly compensation – a company that is the equal of its peers and faces similar legal needs will have to pay more for better resources outside. Cheaper inside forces more expensive outside.