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Morrison Morsels – No. 19

Corporate profit margins and outside counsel fees. A paragraph in the Chicago Daily Law Bulletin: “Our [profit] margin is 3 or 4 percent, so we in the legal department are highly conscious that in order to pay a 3-cent legal bill, we have to earn a dollar.” These are the words of Susan Hallsby, general counsel of OSI Industries, a food company based in Illinois. (See my post of May 24, 2005 on profit margin and benchmarks and March 26, 2006 on economic terms.)

Extranets have not caught much. A recent piece in by Legal IT, June 16, 2005 (John Rogers) spoke about how commonly law firms launched dealrooms (extranets), “yet these have had remarkably little impact, and with a few exceptions, most are now quietly gathering dust.” As the author points out, for in-house counsel who use several law firms, “there is very little incentive or desire to use several different and largely incompatible deal-rooms, which only complicate the process of drafting and agreeing documents.” (See my post of Aug. 27, 2005 on the scarcity of extranets.)

15 percent savings from convergence. The UK firm English Heritage announced its newly-appointed panel of firms, to serve for three years, according to Legal Week, Vol. 8, March 2, 2006 at 1. The conservation agency’s legal director, Nigel Hewitson, projects the new team to save 15 percent a year (£150,000 out of an annual budget that was £1 million.). (See my post of April 2, 2006 on a counterpoint to convergence.)

Vendors of concept search software. To my post of Feb. 19, 2006 on this kind of software, I add some vendors: Stratify, Cataphora, H5, MetaLinks and YellowBrix.