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Hire your retired lawyers to save money and time

Exec. Counsel, April/May 2010 at 26, in an article by Hildebrandt consultants, explains that a “leading utility company has been successfully working with its retired lawyers for the past five years.” The former lawyers can work much more flexible hours and at much lower rates than outside counsel. “The negotiated billing rates with the contractors are typically a third of outside counsel rates, and the arrangement has reduced this law department’s outside counsel cost by 75 percent.”

That statement suggests that the utility pays its retired lawyers $175 to $200 an hour and that it has turned to them significantly. Since the ex-inhousers know the company and its legal issues, they do not require any ramp-up time. In short, to cope with succession planning difficulties, the mass retirement of baby boomers, and rising costs, the use of independent contractors who formerly worked for you is a neat trick (See my post of April 20, 2009: Procter & Gamble allows certain retirees to work on temporary assignments; Oct. 8, 2007: IBM’s extensive use of retired patent counsel; and Sept. 17, 2005: retired general counsel retained as legal consultants.).

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One response to “Hire your retired lawyers to save money and time”

  1. Rees,
    Thanks for highlighting an excellent best practice for corporate legal departments. At Lumen, we have seen this tactic work effectively as well for our clients. In certain situations, corporate clients come to us to “payroll” their former in-house employees and they become Lumen employees as part of a risk mitigation strategy related to employee/independent contractor regulations.