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Secondary thoughts about “primary law firms”

Shot through and through this blog’s 5,000 posts are references to “primary law firms.” One post tried to define the slippery term and gathered nine earlier references (See my post of March 23, 2009: definition of key, principal, primary, or major law firms of a department.).

Ubiquitous almost, mentions of primary firms actually appear far more often. Most of the posts that I found refer to the special impositions legal departments may place on their primary firms (See my post of Dec. 3, 2005: send partners to your conferences; Sept. 28, 2008: attend summits; Sept. 17, 2006: set up a client team; May 2, 2007: invest in understanding the company’s business; Dec. 3, 2005: have a relationship partner; Aug. 28, 2009: submit a periodic “value report; Feb. 2, 2010: discount rates; and Aug. 4, 2008: interventions with three posts and 40 references.). The more important a firm is to you, the more you may need to intercede in some of its operations (See my post of Jan. 12, 2009: intervention levels correlate with amounts spent on a firm.).

A few posts offer some metrics about primary law firms and metrics (See my post of Feb. 11, 2007: in smaller departments, about three law firms hired regularly per in-house lawyer; March 13, 2007: 11 firms accounted for 75 percent of the median company’s outside counsel costs; and June 18, 2007: law firm panels with 13 references.).

Other posts comment on a miscellany of points (See my post of Aug. 10, 2009: high levels of loyalty by law departments to their go-to firms; March 6, 2007: the precarious hold of one’s primary law firm – perhaps; July 8, 2009: pros and cons of an in-house lawyer responsible for relations with a primary law firm; Feb. 22, 2009: ten clues to the onset of complacency; and April 2, 2005: merger by one of a department’s primary firms.).