Network Firm News
Companies Cracking the Whip on Legal Fees
Catherine Aman -- Corporate Counsel -- 02-27-2003
Article reports interviews with Jeffrey Carr, GC of FMC Technologies Inc., E.I. du Pont de Nemours, Woods Abbott of Raytheon, senior manager of legal operations, and Benjamin Heineman, GC of General Electric Corp.
Article Lists "Ten Ways to Slash Spending on Outside Counsel"
1. Designate one person in the corporate legal department to handle bills and pursue savings.
2. Set a strict and uniform billing policy for outside counsel.
3. Forbid rate increases and changes in assigned teams without prior approval.
4. Require outside counsel to prepare budgets for all specific matters and cases.
5. Cut the overall number of firms you retain.
6. Develop a cadre of preferred providers by region or practice area.
7. Investigate reverse-auction Web sites.
8. Explore electronic billing services.
9. Make lawyers' natural competitiveness work for you; grade outside counsel regularly.
10. Share the grades with all of the firms you retain.