Best Practices in Management of Outside Counsel
Eugene Defelice, Vice President, General Counsel & Secretary, Barnes & Noble, Inc., USA
The changing dynamic between inside and outside legal counsel has resulted in a dramatic change in the nature of legal practice. Inside legal counsel is subjected to financial and time pressures in unprecedented ways. At the same time, inside counsel has undertaken a significantly greater role in performing substantive legal work, enabled by increasingly sophisticated in-house staffs, often hired with advanced technical degrees, masters in business administration, or major law firm experience. Finally, in-house counsel now has bargaining power in the terms of retention of outside counsel.
For their part, while some law firms are experiencing robust profitability, they are under pressures of their own. These pressures result from a highly competitive environment, client demands and high cost structures. Competition to provide legal services comes not only from a wide range of law firms in major metropolitan areas and regional firms of high quality. Law firms are under pressure to differentiate themselves not only in terms of quality, but also in terms of efficiency, cost and business understanding.
Read full paper
Subscribe to the IICJ