Network Firm News

Sunday, April 20, 2003

Survey Reveals Factors Considered Important by In-house Counsel
A survey of in-house counsel was conducted by Altman Weil to understand the current status of legal decision makers and their law departments worldwide, to identify their selection process and preferences, to learn which marketing tools they rely on for making decisions, to determine their awareness of and preference for specific legal networks..

Key points revealed in the survey were:

-- Many corporate counsel intend to closely scrutinize their outside counsel and, in many cases, will continue to consolidate the number of firms that they use. Consolidation appears to be more prevalent in the US than in other jurisdictions.

-- Many US corporate counsel plan to expand their law departments while the majority of their colleagues outside the US will maintain or even reduce the size of their law department.

-- Ninety-two percent of chief legal officers or general counsel select or direct the selection process of outside counsel.

-- The most important factors in hiring outside counsel are expertise in a specific area; perception of high quality work; reputation of an attorney in the firm; fee structure; local market knowledge and (for international matters) languages spoke.

-- One-third of all respondents maintain a list of approved outside counsel for work performed domestically; 37% maintain such a list for international selection of law firms and 41% do not maintain a list at all.

-- When asked how they identify new outside law firms to represent their organizations, most favored the traditional means of marketing: referrals, beauty contests and articles written by the firm's lawyers scored highest of seventeen choices. Internet directories, such as, also did quite well.

-- Other factors measured by the survey were "high quality work," "reputation of attorney," "responsiveness," "firm brand," and "local market knowledge".

Complete survey results are available online at:

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