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Flat fee arrangements at Cisco Systems cover about 70 percent of its $75 million spend

A fascinating article in the September issue of the ABA Journal (pg. 53 et seq.) related this fact (pg. 54). The General Counsel of Cisco, Mark Chandler – who comes across in the article as a zealous, creative missionary for change in law department spending practices – wants to increase the percentage. Ambitiously, he wants the firms who represent Cisco on a fixed fee basis, assuming they continue to handle roughly the same amount of work, to lower their fees each year.

Chandler can’t push the fee rock up the hill on his own, but he is certainly acting on his beliefs and visibly proselytizing for more efficient practices from law firms. Other law departments ought to recognize the benefit to them if they lend a hand.