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To reduce spending on outside counsel, shift work, don’t impose techniques

In the Canadian Corporate Counsel Association survey of its members for the 2007 In-House Corporate Counsel Barometer, at 12, one question asked the respondents to check as many as apply of 10 cost-saving measures their law department had implemented over the previous two years. Below are quoted the choices with the percentages of the 722 respondents who selected it in parentheses.

Brought more in-house (58%), require less service from outside counsel (58%), assigning work to appropriate people (44%), impose cost restrictions on outside law firms (30%), alternate fee arrangements with preferred firms (25%), changed law firms (25%), emphasis on RFPs — drive for efficiencies (14%), consolidation (14%), reduce the size of internal staff (11%), put it to offer (9%), and other (3%).

What stands out from these results are that law departments strongly favored shifting work to save costs rather than tightening the fiscal screws on law firms. Cost and fee techniques ranked fourth and fifth on the list. Ask yourself also whether the choices regarding RFPs, consolidations and putting worked out for offer (tender) are mutually exclusive.