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“In many cases, management has no idea how law departments spend money”

This stunning admission comes from J. Alberto Gonzalez-Pita, general counsel of the Las Vegas Sands Corp. His impression is that many C-Suiters think general counsel “just sit around and write checks all the time – and very expensive checks with very large billing rates to very expensive outside lawyers.” His quote comes from the ACC Docket, Vol. 30, Dec. 2008 at 28.

Shame on you general counsel if your boss and peers do not understand why lawsuits and buying and selling companies costs an arm and a leg. Shame on you if they do not understand the economics and practice model of law firms or the specialized legal issues that come up. Shame on you if executive clients do not understand the number and difficulty of matters your legal team handles and when and why outside firms may be needed.

All general counsel can organize their spend and services information, make it intelligible to non-lawyers and keep educating over time.