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Three most popular methods of controlling outside counsel costs

According to a recent study we completed, three actions these days are most favored for controlling law firm costs. Three most common cost-control measures:

• Preferred counsel lists, requiring special permission for a corporate lawyer to deviate from it
• Discounts from standard billing rates, whether based on volume, from handling certain kinds of matters, or across the board
• Using fewer firms (aka consolidation, convergence)

These findings came from interviews with 13 major law departments. Only infrequently, if at all, did they mention guidelines, auctions, stringent bill review, e-billing, task based billing, budgets, early case assessment or other arrows in the quivers of those seeking to shoot costs