Rees Morrison’s archived list is a must-read – do any of the reasons he lists ring a bell? If your law department does not drop the hammer on the law firms you use, who will? Law firms dislike muscular outside counsel guidelines, but law departments need them and other strategies to manage outside counsel. Like any service provider, law firms must proactively respond and react to client concerns. If a client does not drop the hammer when something arises that they are concerned about (such as overstaffing matters, billing issues and lack of coordination and responsiveness), the problems may fester and become the new normal for the relationship.
“(1) The lawyers like the services they get from the firms and feel the value delivered for the cost paid is acceptable.
(2) No one is pressuring them sufficiently from within the corporation to chop costs.
(3) They adhere to the belief that quality and outcomes matter more than cost
(4) Within the recent past they took strong or progressive cost-cutting steps and feel no need now to revisit them….”
[via: Fourteen reasons, ranked by legitimacy, why a law departments doesn’t bring the hammer down on its law firms at the Law Department Management Blog]