It is no surprise. According to the Altman Weil/Association of Corporate Counsel recent survey of Chief Legal Officers, the three most important law department management issues are: 1) budget constraints, 2) cost controls, and 3) staffing issues. Just like every other department in the company, the law department must be efficient. Even in an improving economy, there is no room for excess costs. The pressure has increased with the implementation of Sarbanes Oxley, the increase in shareholder activism and the continuing onslaught of the lawsuit culture.
There are only two places to look for cost control and reduction—inside or internal costs and outside or external costs. This article will examine “convergence,” one of the ways general counsels have been endeavoring to control, and, in some cases, reduce, fees and expenses of outside counsel.