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CCCA62_011,013.qxd:CCCA_V1No2_Dept-MgLaw-V1.qxd 09/14/2007 02:15 PM Page 11 Metrics Taking the international pulse of in-house counsel What corporate counsel think about their roles, relationships and costs. an increasing (67%) part of corporate counsels’ role, said the survey, but less than the 76% reported in 2005.On the other hand, more respondents (42%, com- pared to 36% in 2005) reported dif- ficulty in recruiting top-quality in- house counsel, while 48% report- ed difficulties in retention com- pared to 43% in 2005. Legal spend is set to increase as a proportion of revenue in 40% of the companies, while 39% reported stability of legal spend as a proportion of rev- enue. The pressure to contain legal costs is increasing for 67% of participating organizations.It rofessional associations, trade maga- service is to understand their clients’needs comes as no surprise, then, that 45% of Pzines and consulting firms have and business processes better.But in-house respondents indicated they are moving been carrying out surveys of corporate respondents said firms need to reduce toward more formal tendering processes law departments for more than 25 years. costs and improve efficiency as a way to to retain external counsel. Here are highlights of three corporate demonstrate improved service. Less than half of the ACLA respondents counsel surveys from the U.S., Australia Some 70% of law departments disagree (47%) are seeking out alternative pricing and Canada. that law firms are actively seeking out ways arrangements, down from 58% in 2005. Inside Counsel magazine’s 18th Annual to reduce the costs of the legal services they While less than the 65% reported in 2005, Survey of General Counsel was released in provide.Only 24% of law firm respondents over half (54%) of corporate counsel still July 2007. 862 in-house counsel respond- disagree. Contrast the 46% of corporate agree that coordinating external providers ed, including 342 general counsel and 135 counsel who say their firms adhere to is an increasing part of their role. law firm lawyers.This survey focused pri- budgets with the 74% of law firm respon- The Canadian Corporate Counsel marily on relationships with and the cost dents who say they adhere to budgets. Association (CCCA) released its “In- of law firms. This kind of discrepancy is inevitable House Corporate Counsel Barometer” in Consider this lack of alignment: just when the survey reports that one-third of April 2007. This on-line survey of 722 19% of law departments gave their firms law departments do not set budgets for corporate counsel focused on the advan- an “A” on overall performance, while law firms, less than 25% use e-billing to tages of an in-house role, the role of the 70.5% gave them a “B.” However, 62% of track charges, and only 33% of law general counsel, litigation, managing the law firms gave themselves an “A”, 35% a departments are asking for pricing alter- relationship with outside counsel, and “B” and 3% a “C.”The pitfall in this sta- natives to the hourly rate. innovative business practices by law firms. tistic is that there is no way to correlate The Australian Corporate Lawyers No information is provided about the which responding firms provide services Association (ACLA) released its biennial positions held by the respondents, about GETTY IMAGES to the participating law departments. In-House Law Report in May 2007.More industry sectors, or about other attributes Inside Counsel’s survey also reports that than 660 in-house lawyers responded. of the law department. Respondents cited three top advantages law firms think the best way to improve Providing corporate governance support is AUTOMNE 2007 CCCA Canadian Corporate Counsel Association 11
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