April 15, 2014
While law departments have already begun shifting more of their work in-house, there are potentially significant opportunities to move additional work by evaluating the types of work the department does. There are certain types of legal work where law departments have traditionally looked to outside counsel to carry a substantial portion of the load.
In fact, more than a third of law departments say they rely on law firms for all or almost all of their litigation needs.
Similarly, corporate counsel frequently engage outside counsel for M&A, IP, tax, securities, banking and finance, and regulatory affairs.
While the specialized expertise of outside counsel is often needed for specific cases and jurisdictions, these types of legal work may also present opportunities for GCs to re-evaluate whether some of these areas may be more cost-effectively handled in-house. If particular types of matters tend to be recurring, it may be beneficial to develop more of that expertise internally.
Thomson Reuters surveyed nearly 600 in-house attorneys to study law department trends and needs, as well as opportunities to improve the quality of legal counsel that is provided, increase efficiency and reduce costs.