If your legal department has been focused recently on reducing outside counsel costs, you are not alone. According to recent ACC/Serengeti Legal Department surveys, reducing these costs is consistently among the most pressing issues for corporate legal departments. Truly effective outside counsel management goes beyond budget, however, and can also promote more effective use of both in-house and outside counsel and better, more data-driven decisions.

Four best practices for improving engagement with outside counsel emerged in recent discussions with GCs mediated by Thomson Reuters. Vice President of Corporate Account Management Dan Juckniess recently shared these tips with the Metropolitan Corporate Counsel, elaborating on four major themes:

  • Set the rules of engagement with review of project budgets, early case assessments, technology requirements, and other tools
  • Enforce billing guidelines with electronic bill auditing and review tools, such as Serengeti Tracker
  • Evaluate performance using subjective performance tracking and budget tracking
  • Improve collaboration by improving communication and coordination across state or country lines with matter management tools such as Thomson Reuters Concourse Matter Room

Following these four practices can lead to a closer, stronger relationship with outside counsel. With effective management and the right tools, outside counsel can effectively and efficiently provide additional resources, reach, expertise and capacity to a legal department.

Share your own tips and best practices for outside counsel management below and visit the Metropolitan Corporate Counsel to read more from Juckniess on the tips above.


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