The work allocation debate: In-house vs. outside counsel

Some broad tips to help you expedite this decision-making process to get the necessary work going

Deciding when to send work to an outside firm can be a difficult challenge for general counsel. GCs have a strong incentive to retain work for their internal teams, given the view that work done internally is typically less expensive. However, GCs often need the expertise, resources or arms-length representation that only outside counsel can provide. The following are some broad tips to alleviate the stress in such circumstances and help you expedite this decision-making process to get the necessary work going.

Assess your needs: Ideally, decisions about whether to keep work or send work to outside counsel begin well before the work needs to be done. As a starting point, every GC should have a good handle on current and imminent needs, including volume and nature of work, as well as who is responsible for the work’s completion. Only once you have assessed the current allocation of work, including related costs and value contributed by the relevant parties, can you make informed decisions about what resources are being applied efficiently in house, where additional investment in in-house infrastructure would be appropriate, and what categories of work should go straight to outside counsel.

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Paul Mandell

Paul Mandell is a founder and the CEO of Consero Group, an international leader in the development of invitation-only events for senior executives in the...

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