Everyone loves a bargain—lawyers included. And despite the fact that many legal departments are accustomed to regularly receiving expensive bills from their outside counsel, some in-house lawyers are finding that it’s not too hard to find good deals on legal services.
In-house teams that want to start working with regional firms or expand their use of such firms should begin by thoroughly analyzing their legal departments’ portfolios of work.
Consultants say assigning the right work to regional counsel is essential, so in-house lawyers need to know what types of work they shouldn’t give to their regional counsel.
Communication is the key to a successful relationship with any outside counsel. Consultants say in-house teams should prioritize establishing a face-to-face relationship with the lawyers at their regional firms. “The personal connection has to be made—no question about it,” says Bellis, who suggests that both sides also schedule periodic check-ins and visits.
In-house counsel should periodically thoroughly assess the quality of work their regional firms deliver, as well as the relationship itself.
Q: Describe Bank of America’s (BofA’s) relationships with regional law firms.