In-house counsel are very busy; there's no question about that. Outside counsel are also very busy. The relationships between the two are significant, and both sides agree that these relationships are important to maintain. For one, keeping the relationship fresh can lead to potential new matters, cases and referrals to other in-house colleagues who may need the same services.
For in-house counsel, it means having necessary go-to resources to tap into for brainstorming, networking and potential career advancement when the need arises. Working on these relationships is even more important during periods between active cases and matters. Strangely, outside counsel often believe that their clients are too busy to meet with them unless there is a specific matter at hand. Not true, say many in-house counsel. The ability to share insights, learn first-hand what is happening in the industry from outside counsel's perspective and to meet new members of their firms are good reasons to connect.