Rethink Your Legal Budgeting
Control your outside counsel spend and embrace alternative legal budgeting.
This paper covers:
- Non-traditional approaches to the budget that focus on alignment, cost reduction, and improved communication with business partners
- Unlocking the power of transformative budgeting by reexamining legal workstreams
- Matching legal matters to the right legal resources
Legal Budgeting in the New Normal
Precedent is important. It’s important as a legal concept. It’s important for stability and to manage risk.
Lawyers have, therefore, naturally leaned on precedent, but that’s made for some fiscally frustrated GCs. 73% of in-house teams say they spend too much on outside counsel, despite their significant efforts to contain and control costs. Indeed, for years GCs have been pushing their law firm partners for discounts, for alternative billing structures, for leaner (yet still competent) teams. They have been proactive in diversifying their law firm portfolios, not only to find the most appropriate expertise match per matter, but also to find the most cost-effective legal partners. They also have been actively clawing work away from law firms and building bigger in-house departments as an antidote to Big Law expense.
Yet the legal operating model has remained largely the same. Most work either goes over the wall to a law firm partner, or remains in-house with a fixed full-time employee. The former is expensive. The latter doesn’t always accommodate the peaks and valleys of legal work, especially because legal departments tend to staff for those peaks.
Enter COVID. The pandemic has not only increased legal volume and risk, it has challenged the very notion of precedent. Last year’s marketplace has little bearing on what the future state will bring. Normal is gone. Until such time when we find our way to inoculation or therapeutics, the world and its business leaders will be left trying to navigate through an unfamiliar, unprecedented new normal.
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