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CLOs look for more value from outside counsel

ACC’s survey results reveal continued focus on budgets

The Association of Corporate Counsel (ACC) recently conducted its annual Chief Legal Officer Survey, and the results aren’t too surprising. CLOs are looking for increased value from their outside law firms—expecting their firms to provide the “appropriate lawyer-to-task” and are looking for “improved budget and matter management.”

"Client service and managing outside counsel relationships are at the heart of what in-house counsel do, and it's no surprise that there's been increased involvement with the ACC Value Challenge and that the survey results emphasize their interest in establishing better relationships with their outside counsel," said ACC President & CEO Veta T. Richardson in a statement. "The CLO's success in addressing company priorities, while managing costs with outside counsel, further solidifies their credibility and importance within their respective organizations."

The survey also found that:

  • 63 percent of respondents are now using some sort of value-based arrangement with outside counsel, a significantly higher percentage than in previous years (32 percent in 2009, 21 percent in 2008)
  • 37 percent of CLOs are planning to hire staff in the coming year—more than reported in 2009 and 2008
  • 92 percent report that despite expanding duties and changes to their role as CLO, they are still satisfied with their chosen career
  • 54 percent said they experienced effects from the economic downturn—down from 74 percent in 2009

Read more about the ACC’s 2011 Chief Legal Officer Survey.

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Cathleen Flahardy

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