At the Consero 2010 Corporate Counsel Forum, one panel put up a slide with data from the ACC Chief Legal Officer Survey in 2008. The slide showed a dozen outcomes desired by legal departments, which participants in the survey ranked in decreasing order of importance from 12 to 1, the least important. “Discounted fees” (8.7 average rating), “Increased responsiveness” (8.5), “Optimized staffing models” (8.4), and “Understanding of our business” (8.3) rose to the top of the chart.
The survey likely took place in the teeth of the economic collapse. In the last few months of 2008, with the upheaval in our economy and revenue collapsing, legal fees were top of mind so discounts – the easiest tourniquet to apply – came in first. Surprisingly, the next three concerns turn not on dollars but on quality of representation, although staffing models certainly affects the amount of bills also.