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Hours purchased per amount spent cannot be the measure of a relationship’s success

A long article in Law Bus. Rev., Winter 2009 at 28, describes the relationship between Tyco International and Eversheds. For a two-year term, Eversheds is handling all of Tyco’s more than 1,300 matters across 70 jurisdictions in EMEA.

At the end of the article, the chief lawyer of Tyco’s EMEA businesses “suggests that the way of measuring the success of this unique arrangement with Eversheds is not by the normal gauge: cost is not the correct measure, he says, but rather the number of hours they get for the money, is.”

That statement leaves me puzzled. It would suggest that Eversheds should delegate and delegate, use lots of paralegals, bring in temps and contractors, keep partners out of the fray, and generally drive up the hours provided and down the blended rate. Surely, bulk hours is not the optimal measurement for the success of this sophisticated arrangement.