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Speed time to resolution (lower cycle time) and shave outside counsel fees

In a recent interview, the head of litigation for BellSouth (Henry Walker) shares his observation that “the faster the cases are resolved, the lower the outside counsel fees.” (From Jan. 2005 materials of ACC at 6, provided at a conference organized by the ABA Section of Business Law and ACC, Nov. 2005)

Nuisance or simple claims should be resolved faster, so part of this cycle time statistic says no more than that less merit equals less spending. Evidence of this is Walker’s comment that “resolutions for shorter cycle time cases are generally better ones for the company.”

What law departments need to calculate is spending per month, and see whether shortening the average cycle time reduces that normalized metric.