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Disappointment over the benefits hoped for from convergence

“Less than three-fourths of in-house counsel involved in convergence (68%) state that the strategy met their expectations, with a significant minority stating that the process did not meet expectations (25%), and a much smaller number stating that it exceeded expectations.” The quote comes from the 2008 ACC/Serengeti Managing Outside Counsel Survey, reported in ACC Docket, Vol. 26, Nov. 2008, at 14. For more information, write Rob Thomas at Serengeti.

We can’t know whether convergence expectations are unrealistic –“We should save 25% of our outside spend!!” – or whether they were realistic and the fees did not decrease much. Or perhaps other expectations than cost savings were disappointed, such as closer partnering with the firms or less administrative effort on invoices. Perhaps the convergence process took too much time, snubbed too many firms, or cost too much in consultancy fees. It might even be that not enough time has passed for the full benefits to accrue. In any case, the bloom is off the rose

Earlier, I collected my posts on convergence (See my post of Feb. 16, 2008: convergence with 26 references.). Eleven more posts have followed that compilation (See my post of March 25, 2008: 7 steps in a convergence project; April 4, 2008: law firms “fired” through convergence; May 5, 2008: NEC’s extreme convergence; May 7, 2008: Union Pacific’s process; June 10, 2008: Serengeti survey on percent using the process; July 28, 2008: Linde Group shrinkage of firms used; Aug. 5, 2008: GE’s reduction of law firms it uses; Oct. 22, 2008 *2: a dozen arguments in favor of convergence; Oct. 19, 2008: a dozen arguments in opposition to convergence; Nov. 21, 2008 *2: keep the same average firm size; and Dec. 16, 2008 *4: what is predicted by 2013.).