According to E. Leigh Dance and Deborah McMurray, “10 Things We’ve Learned from In-House Counsel in the US and Europe,” one senior counsel handles virtually all litigation himself, regardless of jurisdiction or substantive area. He states that the results are more consistently good, because no one knows better than he how one case ties to another, or how the result of one might affect future business decisions. [It is not clear from the passage whether more than one lawyer in the department handles lawsuits.]
This same lawyer commissioned a study which analyzed the cost of the legal department handling cases in comparison to outside firms handling cases. The study found that, with the insurance reimbursement on many cases, the legal department was not a cost drain to the corporation but rather was becoming a center of profit (See my posts of Feb. 8, 2006 about DuPont and its litigation recovery program.).
Shades of Andrew Marvell: “Drink to me only with thine eyes and I’ll not look for wine.” All law departments wish they could sip that research’s elixir.