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To control outside counsel, hire excellent, experienced inside counsel

After a review of the usual-suspect techniques for outside cost control, two authors conclude with what they believe is the crucial driver: “the most important variable is the quality and experience of inside counsel,” ACCA Docket, Vol. 18, May 2000 at 4 (Stephen J. Friedman and C. Evan Stewart).

Note that the primum mobile is not systems but people (See my post of April 19, 2006 on why we like impersonal systems more than personal touch.). Note also that it calls for the high-quality veteran inside counsel to think in terms of management more than of the traditional practice of law; nor does it force fit a technique willy-nilly across the wide range of outside counsel retentions. And, in the end, notice that to apply this technique you need veteran lawyers within the company, each of whom is expert and well regarded in her field. Small wonder systems find favor!