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No way do finance people in-house and at law firms “reach understandings on the pricing model”

Here is a misunderstanding. David Galbenski, Unbound: How Entrepreneurship is Dramatically Transforming Legal Services Today (2009), has a chapter by an Eversheds partner, David Smith. Smith writes (at 27), “Some clients have their own finance people deal with our finance people to reach an understanding about the pricing model. This requires trust and partnering.”

I can’t envision a general counsel who would let someone from the CFO organization negotiate how the legal department pays a law firm for its services. My disbelief of this quote stems from the unlikeliness that any kind of service other than the most rudely basic can be priced on a financial formula.

I can imagine an exchange of data between finance staff and the development of models. But I cannot imagine an agreement reached by non-lawyers on how to price even moderately sophisticated legal services.