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  Reducing Total Legal Spend

The costs of legal services increase every year because the demand for service increases, the nature of the work becomes more complex, and unit prices keep climbing in every market. Legal departments call on a broad range of measures to address the economic challenges that accompany legal services. Our experience is significant with

budgeting internal & external costs
convergence and partnering with law firms
alternative pricing for external counsel
litigation management
workflow management systems

For further information on reducing total legal spend, contact Richard Stock at rstock@catalystlegal.com or (416) 367-4447.

Articles on Reducing Total Legal Spend

Fixed Fees and Performance
Lexpert, Vol. 18, No. 4, March 2017

Corporate clients should systematically request detailed matter budgets with the planning assumptions and hours by phase and task for each fee earner when the file is likely to exceed 50 hours. This is good, basic practice management.
The article suggests that putting more eggs in fewer legal baskets and making long(er) commitments of work to law firms makes it possible to introduce fixed fees for portfolios of work. It also removes barriers to introducing key performance indicators and to truly innovating in legal service delivery.

From Vendor to Strategic Partner
Lexpert, Vol. 18, No. 3, January-February 2017

The 5 stages of relationships between law departments and law firms, described in Heineman's “Inside Counsel Revolution”, are summarized in the article. Very few companies have moved beyond panels of preferred law firms to a strategic integration with one or two primary firms. The article concludes that making longer term commitments to a handful of firms is a pre-requisite to non-hourly fees for portfolios of work and to significant innovation in legal service delivery that will change the behaviours of inside counsel and their primary firms.

Changing Law Firms
Lexpert, Vol. 18, No. 2, November-December 2016

With an hourly billing model, a company can take its time to phase out legacy firms as part of its convergence program. Fixed and hybrid fee arrangements require other approaches to manage law firm transitions. The first approach is to carve out some on-going files for legacy firms and reduce the fixed fee accordingly. The second is to have the successful primary firm oversee, pay and phase out the work of the legacy firms as part of its fixed fee. This second approach contains costs and greatly reduces the amount of administrative time that law departments would otherwise invest.

Design of a Successful RFP
Lexpert, Vol. 17, No. 8, June 2016

This case study shows how three different law firms can offer simpler work intake and allocation protocols, and move away from hourly billing in order to secure predictable pricing that is effective for multi-year portfolios of legal work. The prerequisite is a well-drafted RFP based on solid data analytics. The scope of work should set hour work volumes and complexity levels for each legal specialty.

Closing the Gap
Lexpert, Vol. 17, No. 6, April 2016

Only three out of 20 law departments have written business plans, key performance indicators, and use formal RFPs to retain external counsel. Up to 50 % of law department time is spent on routine matters, typically by lawyers with more than 10 years of experience. Twelve areas are listed for improvement in law department management. An increasing number of Canada’s top law firms have the resources to help law departments improve their efficiency and their effectiveness.

Extracting More Value
Lexpert, Vol. 16, No. 9, September 2015

Fourteen out of 15 successful responses to RFPs are from existing providers of legal services. Few companies link fees to performance. Surveys suggest little evidence of cost pressures on firms. Five questions are proposed for incorporation in RFPs.

Sourcing External Counsel: Strategic or Tactical?
CCCA Magazine, Vol. 8, No. 3, Summer 2015

Legal procurement has come into its own as a value-added contributor. There are a good number of corporate procurement and strategic sourcing departments that lend structure and support to the law department. This article profiles Dr. Silvia Hodges Silverstein’s “Legal Procurement Handbook,” a thought-provoking collection of 27 articles. Every GC should read the book.

Getting to LPM
Lexpert, Vol. 16, No. 2, Nov-Dec 2014

The article suggests six ways that legal project management (LPM) and budgeting add value in complex matters. The roles of external counsel and law departments in LPM are detailed. Law departments should ensure that matter budgets for complex work include planning assumptions for phases and tasks, together with a percentage probability of correctness.

Legal project budgeting should be correlated with a suitable pricing model if it is to provide the right incentives for all involved.

Improving the Business Relationship with Primary Law Firms
CCCA Magazine, Vol. 8, No. 2, Summer 2014

External counsel are an important resource. The relationship with primary law firms must be structured insofar as it applies to the composition of legal teams, service standards, effectivness ⁄ results, and pricing. Good usage data and reliable demand estimates are essential. Performance-based fees should be integrated with all types of fee arrangements.

Power of a Well-Drafted RFP
Lexpert, Vol. 15, No. 8, June 2014

Effective Requests for Proposals for legal services are based on good data about past usage and clear projections for demand in the future. RFPs should inquire about law firm business plans, legal project management, quality assurance mechanisms, and pricing. RFPs ask for references to other clients and strong relationship partners. They introduce structure in evaluating law firm performance.

When Your Partner Leaves
Lexpert, Vol. 15, No. 7, May 2014

The departure of a relationship partner from one law firm to another represents a period of uncertainty for corporate counsel. The dissolution of a law firm is disruptive to say the least. GC should secure a detailed, in-person briefing about the new law firm. It is also a good time to negotiate more favourable economic terms. The opportunity to re-think professional and business relationships for legal services should not be missed.

Striking a New Bargain
Lexpert, Vol. 15, No. 1, October 2013

Performance and outcome-based fee arrangements will represent less than 50 % of fee arrangemens for at least 5 more years. Legal departments shy away from securing detailed matter budgets for complex and unique work. Inside counsel do not invest the time to engage in analysis and discussion of resource plans for legal work. A combination of legal project budgeting and performance-based fees for complex work is the only way to compel legal departments to ascertain and pay for the real value of legal work.

Embryonic Art Meets Science
Lexpert, Vol. 14, No. 10, September 2013

The article profiles the benefits and pitfalls of applying legal project management and budgeting to complex legal work. Effective LPM depends on explicit scope of work, planning assumptions and a percentage probability for each assumption.

The Enigma of Hourly Billing
Lexpert, Vol. 14, No. 9, July-August 2013

Recent application of value-based fee principles to long-term partnering arrangements with law firms proved to be a partial success only. Patrick Lamb’s three-part test for non-hourly fees is presented. The article argues in favor of fee arrangements which depend, at least in part, on outcomes for the matter or group of matters.

Ask and Ye Should Receive
Lexpert, Vol. 14, No. 8, June 2013

RFPs for portfolios of work typically result in partnering agreements with the same primary law firms. The process of “going to market” or a formal, non-competitive process is an opportunity to state new expectations for geographic coverage, succession in the relationship with the firm, value-based pricing combinations, and technological advances. Ten probing questions for law firms form part of the article.

New Life for Old Relationships
Lexpert, Vol. 14, No. 6, April 2013

The top 6 factors influencing the selection of a law firm are profiled. For an established relationship, one law department evaluated its primary law firm by looking at service, costs, and results for each of four legal specialties. Each member of the law department prepared an evaluation. A composite performance profile was then assembled. A formal, explicit approach to evaluating firm performance is an effective management practice, and far better than assuming that no news is good news.

Actively Managing Relationships with Law Firms
CCCA Magazine, Vol. 6, No. 3, Fall 2012

Active management of relationships with external counsel depend on business unit support for protocols underpinning alliance and partnering arrangements for legal services, on designating a member of the legal department to oversee innovative arrangements with law firms, and on using the procurement department for data analysis and tracking.

Negotiation Jitters
Lexpert, Vol. 13, No. 10, September 2012

Meetings held over 2 days with the GCs and AGCs of 14 companies focussed on the types of arrangements in place with preferred firms. Most of the companies spend $50M to $125M per year on external legal fees. There is little evidence of formal selection criteria or competitive processes in place although most of the GCs were very well-informed of the range of programs and innovation of other companies. Almost none had plans to introduce more cost-effective arrangements with their preferred firms despite their interest in serious cost reduction. Law departments are getting great service and good results, they continue to step back from regular and fundamental reviews and the re-design of their financial arrangements with their law firms.

Paying the Right Price
Lexpert, Vol. 13, No. 3, February 2012

Recent discussions with 50 legal departments suggest that there is not much evidence of cost-reduction initiatives. There is little interest in competitive processes (RFPs) to retain external counsel, as most General Counsel believe that the pain is not worth the gain". Five steps were proposed to find the right price to pay external counsel: the Request for Information (RFI); a multi-year demand forecast; a review of practice patterns; aligned pricing arrangements; and disciplined measurement of value.

Comparing Counsel Cost
Lexpert, Vol. 13, No. 2, January 2012

Aspects of Global Law Department Benchmarks, a survey of more than 800 legal departments from around the world, are presented. US departments appear to make twice as much use of external counsel as Canadian departments. The US cost per hour of $188.89 for the department is higher than Canada's law departments at $159.56. The variations disappear when adjusting for the hours actually worked rather than using an across-the-board average. Factoring in paralegal hours will redue the effective rate. In most instances, the law department rate is about 45% of the external counsel rate.

The Quest for Cost-Effective Counsel
CCCA Magazine, Vol. 5, No. 4, Winter 2011

Not much has changed in 10 years with the average for non-hourly pricing stuck at 10%. Forty percent (40%) of legal departments achieve few or no reductions in external legal spend in the last two years. Another 18% achieved only 6% - 105 inh cost reductions. One survey found that only 17.2% of legal departments almost always require detailed matter budgeting for complex matters. Five suggestions are made on how to improve terms of engagement with law firms.

Eight action tips are offered on how legal departments can reduce external legal spend

Four Smart Questions
Lexpert, Vol 12, No. 7, June 2011

The article answers four questions posed by the AGC of a national bank. What strategies work when aiming to reduce legal spend on M&A and litigation matters? Do alternative fee arrangements (AFAs) impact quality or timelines of service? How does one disconnect the law firm perception of value from billable hours where it is billing against an AFA. Apart from saving money, what are the indirect benefits of AFAs?

Retainer Fees for Regional Firms
CCCA Magazine, Vol 5, No. 2, Summer 2011

A US-based multi-national elected to “regionalize” its commercial, general liability and employment-related litigation. Only 8 firms were picked and given the authority to retain local counsel when needed. Three years of historical data and information about pending files and projections had been shared. A single 3-year fee was negotiated for each region. Firms prepared hourly shadow bills every month. They are used to make adjustments to a shared risk and reward fee structure.

Team-based Pricing
Lexpert Vol 12, No. 6, May 2011

Team-based pricing is hourly at its core – a blend of rates in proportion to the planned use of partners, associates and paralegals or clerks over a period of time. The reasons cited for not embracing a “blended rate” or team-based pricing include missing associates at certain levels of experience, disagreement on the relative complexity of the work to be priced, and law firm compensation systems that do not promote delegation and team work. When combined with legal project management/matter budgeting, team-based pricing can result in measurable savings.

The Hybrid Fee Arrangement
CCCA Magazine, Vol. 4, No. 3, Fall 2010

A US energy company requested its law firms propose fee arrangements which reflected innovation in pricing, cost-savings for the client, predictability and stability of legal costs and teams, profitability for the firm and measurable value in service delivery and outcomes. The alternative fee arrangement is a hybrid of a blended rate for a block of work over time, combined with a productivity incentive and service delivery incentives.

Highlights of the 2010 ACLA-CLANZ Legal Department Benchmarking Report
CCCA Magazine, Vol. 4, No. 3, October 2010

One hundred and sixty Australian and New Zealand legal departments participated in this extensive study. A dozen sections deal with aspects of performance management - everything ranging from reporting relationships, deploymetn, resources, workloads and the relative use of time recording systems and charge-backs.
Other highlights include the balance of inside and external counsel, effectiveness indicators for the department, external spend controls, and longer term arrangements with law firms.

Pressure and Predictability
Lexpert, October 2010, Vol 11, No 10

The article reports on the findings of the 2010 ACLA - CLANZ Legal Department Benchmarking Report.
The most pressing issue for legal departments, by a factor of 2, is workloads/time pressures. There is little evidence of demand forecasting, of usage protocols for the legal department, and of the practice management skills needed to generate capacity in the department
On a different note, the article shares research findings regarding low success rates in achieving reductions in external legal spend and in the use of non-hourly fee arrangements.

"Changing the Business Model for Legal Services"
CCCA Magazine, Vol 4, Issue 2 (Summer 2010)

The cost of legal services rarely figures prominently in the selection of a law firm or individual lawyer for an important matter. Many law departments do not believe that the pain will be worth the gain to manage legal services. General counsel default to traditional arrangements with their primary firms. The article poses six questions essential to a review of relationships with external counsel Five components for a sustainable relationship with law firms are also put forward.

"Three Ways to Reduce Legal Costs"
Lexpert, Vol 11, Issue 8 (June 2010)

Nearly 60% of legal departments surveyed reported that in-sourcing corporate and commercial work reduces external legal spend by over 50%. Most in-sourcing from the last 2 years has been absorbed without adding lawyers to the legal department.
The second way to reduce costs is to provide better specifications to law firms. Only 56% of legal departments said they specified the scope of resources to be assigned and only 44% specified desired outcomes. While most legal departments try fixed, flat and capped fees regularly, more than 90% of legal work is still hourly-based. Cisco, Intel, Dupont and Microsoft are targetting up to 90% of their legal fees as non-hourly within 3-5 years.

"Alternative Fees are on Their Way"
Lexpert, Vol 11, No 3 (February 2010)

Less than 10% of legal fees are generated on other than an hourly basis. Even though many corporate counsel experiment with alternatives, they remain too risk-averse to adopt non-traditional methods in the face of the global financial crisis. Law firms are seldom taken up on their offers to innovate in pricing when legal departments can leverage multi-year partnering agreements and project management techniques to reduce external legal spend by at least 15% - and still retain hourly billing.

"In-House Needs a Reality Check on Value"
The New Lawyer, August 20th, 2009

A 7-point "reality check" on legal department efforts to mitigate the costs of external legal counsel is presented. Barriers to change, such as procurement processes and project management practices, and discussions about rates appear to be antithetical to relationship-based, collegial service delivery. In other instances, legal departments do not make the time to become familiar with the tools and processes essential to innovation in working cost-effectively with law firms.

"Who Is Responsible for the Cost of Legal Services?"
CCCA Magazine, Vol 2, No 4, Winter 2008

The Canadian Lawyer / Catalyst Consulting September 2008 survey of law departments found that the number one way (43.5 % of responses) a law firm can improve its working relationship with the company is “to be more concerned with costs”. An Australian / New Zealand survey had 62 % of respondents citing cost management as the number one way. Surveys show little movement in the management practices of legal departments: only 32 % run formal procurement processes, most prepare no multi-year forecasts for services, few refer to standards for staffing complex legal work, 40 % pay full hourly rates, only 30 % use detailed matter budgeting, and fully 90 % of work is still billed on a variation of the hourly rate.

"Billing Practice Alternatives"
Lexpert, Vol 9, No 4, February 2008

The focus of additional measures to reduce external legal spend is on matter budgeting to recalibrate teamwork and delegation of tasks to competent, less expensive lawyers in law firms. Alternative pricing arrangements designed to reward law firms for concluding matters satisfactorily but with fewer hours are presented. Quarterly monitoring and flexibility in pricing due to significant variances in actual volumes and file complexity are essential. Law departments will need to conduct and act on quarterly or semi-annual analyses of practice patterns and fees from law firms as they apply to individual matters.

"Risk Aversion in Retaining Outside Counsel"
Lexpert, Vol 8, No 8, June 2007

Corporations are turning to procurement professionals for help with innovative programs to manage their legal costs, especially those related to external counsel. Flexible, independent, cost-effective operating practices of legal departments are less tenable than they were several years ago. Corporations must now make longer term commitments to fewer law firms in exchange for stable costs and the guaranteed availability of legal teams in the future. Experience with case and matter budgeting and familiarity with other workflow management practices must be built up over time within the law firm. legal departments must learn to gauge law firms' ability to innovate in legal services pricing and delivery. But they must do so less experientially and more objectively.

"Achieve Success with Partnering"
Lexpert, Vol 8, No 6, April 2007

legal departments underestimate the time and effort it takes to manage innovative arrangements such as task-based budgets or risk/ reward based pricing for legal services. Leadership in decentralized legal departments and companies is required to ensure partnering with law firms goes beyond managing a list of preferred suppliers.

"The Legal Department as Informed Purchaser"
Lexpert, Vol 8, No 4, February 2007

Corporate counsel surveys reveal that the second greatest challenge cited is controlling legal spend. The article describes the application of the "informed purchaser" concept to legal services. The competencies of a select number of individuals in the legal department must include strengths in legal procurement, risk management, quality control and general procurement processes. In particular, demand forecasting, the inter-dependency of law firm profitability variables, non-hourly pricing and matter budgeting protocols require experience and skill to master

"New Ways to Keep Client Costs Down"
Lexpert, Vol 8, No 1, October 2006

There is a measurable difference in the world view of law firms and of legal departments when it comes to pin-pointing the sources of friction between them. Corporate and institutional legal departments must identify the best configuration of increased volumes, targeted leverage, and expense reduction as a way to reconcile cost reduction in legal fees with increased profitability for law firms. Three case studies suggest that adjustments to law firm business models and to legal department buying habits do contribute to mitigating much of the friction in the economic portion of the relationship between law firms and their clients.

"Negotiating Long-Term Fees"
Lexpert, July/August 2005

Two corporate legal departments are profiled as they try to secure stable, medium-term economic arrangements with their preferred law firms across the country. Leading law firms were able to adjust their staffing/delegation practices in over a dozen specializations thereby contributing to savings that approach 20% when combined with other measures. The article concludes with three suggestions to guide fee negotiations.

"Saving Money: Location and Buffers"
Lexpert, October 2004

Some law firms are proposing legal teams for national and international clients by tapping lawyers from their offices which carry lower billing rates. The corollary is that corporate and institutional clients will ask their preferred firms to use lawyers from their less costly venues. Buffers of non-chargeable time form part of an incentive to law firms to develop case plans and budgets. This is a first step to streamlining work flow, billings and payment process.

"The Cost of Choice"
Lexpert, March 2004

This case study describes how TD Bank Financial Group improved the quality of legal services to the bank and balanced the cost-effectiveness of its work flow practices with the business relationships it wanted to protect. The number of law firms was reduced from 850 to a little over 100. Stable legal teams and 3-year price structures were negotiated with every firm. The bank is projected to save more than 20% on its legal costs across a 3-year period.

"Best Practices for Partnering Between Corporate Counsel and Law Firms"
Report to Legal Management, September 2002

Law firms seldom take the initiative to migrate beyond pricing initiatives and service programs. However, some have formalized long-term partnering programs with key clients. This requires a willing client, a lot of unbillable time, and steadily improving data.

"Keeping the Lid on Legal Costs"
Lexpert, June 2002

Corporate counsel all reported a concern with rising legal costs. Case planning / budgeting and preferred staffing profiles are explored as techniques to keep legal costs in line. Service levels are not compromised and the quality of legal work remains intact.

"Three Reasons Why RFPs Fail"
Canadian Corporate Counsel Association Handbook, Spring Edition, 1999

There are several instances where legal departments prepare requests for proposals ( RFPs ) for legal services from outside counsel. In the face of these imperatives, many RFPs fail for three main reasons — poor data, unclear expectations, and insufficient preparation time.

"Make Your Selection of Outside Counsel More Than a Beauty Contest"
CCC Practice Manual, Release 3 (December 1998)

Practical guidance and a sequence of issues counsel should address when customizing long-term relationships for services with outside counsel. Included topics: performance, best practices, scope of legal services, cost of legal services, finding support within the organization, managing the process, selection methods, selection criteria, third parties, fees, performance and evaluation.

This case study describes how TD Bank Financial Group improved the quality of legal services to the bank and balanced the cost-effectiveness of its work flow practices with the business relationships it wanted to protect. The number of law firms was reduced from 850 to a little over 100. Stable legal teams and 3-year price structures were negotiated with every firm. The bank is projected to save more than 20% on its legal costs across a 3-year period.

"Best Practices for Partnering Between Corporate Counsel and Law Firms"
Report to Legal Management, September 2002

Law firms seldom take the initiative to migrate beyond pricing initiatives and service programs. However, some have formalized long-term partnering programs with key clients. This requires a willing client, a lot of unbillable time, and steadily improving data.

"Keeping the Lid on Legal Costs"
Lexpert, June 2002

Corporate counsel all reported a concern with rising legal costs. Case planning / budgeting and preferred staffing profiles are explored as techniques to keep legal costs in line. Service levels are not compromised and the quality of legal work remains intact.

"Three Reasons Why RFPs Fail"
Canadian Corporate Counsel Association Handbook, Spring Edition, 1999

There are several instances where legal departments prepare requests for proposals ( RFPs ) for legal services from outside counsel. In the face of these imperatives, many RFPs fail for three main reasons — poor data, unclear expectations, and insufficient preparation time.

"Make Your Selection of Outside Counsel More Than a Beauty Contest"
CCC Practice Manual, Release 3 (December 1998)

Practical guidance and a sequence of issues counsel should address when customizing long-term relationships for services with outside counsel. Included topics: performance, best practices, scope of legal services, cost of legal services, finding support within the organization, managing the process, selection methods, selection criteria, third parties, fees, performance and evaluation.

Two corporate legal departments are profiled as they try to secure stable, medium-term economic arrangements with their preferred law firms across the country. Leading law firms were able to adjust their staffing/delegation practices in over a dozen specializations thereby contributing to savings that approach 20% when combined with other measures. The article concludes with three suggestions to guide fee negotiations.

"Saving Money: Location and Buffers"
Lexpert, October 2004

Some law firms are proposing legal teams for national and international clients by tapping lawyers from their offices which carry lower billing rates. The corollary is that corporate and institutional clients will ask their preferred firms to use lawyers from their less costly venues. Buffers of non-chargeable time form part of an incentive to law firms to develop case plans and budgets. This is a first step to streamlining work flow, billings and payment process.

"The Cost of Choice"
Lexpert, March 2004

This case study describes how TD Bank Financial Group improved the quality of legal services to the bank and balanced the cost-effectiveness of its work flow practices with the business relationships it wanted to protect. The number of law firms was reduced from 850 to a little over 100. Stable legal teams and 3-year price structures were negotiated with every firm. The bank is projected to save more than 20% on its legal costs across a 3-year period.

"Best Practices for Partnering Between Corporate Counsel and Law Firms"
Report to Legal Management, September 2002

Law firms seldom take the initiative to migrate beyond pricing initiatives and service programs. However, some have formalized long-term partnering programs with key clients. This requires a willing client, a lot of unbillable time, and steadily improving data.

"Keeping the Lid on Legal Costs"
Lexpert, June 2002

Corporate counsel all reported a concern with rising legal costs. Case planning / budgeting and preferred staffing profiles are explored as techniques to keep legal costs in line. Service levels are not compromised and the quality of legal work remains intact.

"Three Reasons Why RFPs Fail"
Canadian Corporate Counsel Association Handbook, Spring Edition, 1999

There are several instances where legal departments prepare requests for proposals ( RFPs ) for legal services from outside counsel. In the face of these imperatives, many RFPs fail for three main reasons — poor data, unclear expectations, and insufficient preparation time.

"Make Your Selection of Outside Counsel More Than a Beauty Contest"
CCC Practice Manual, Release 3 (December 1998)

Practical guidance and a sequence of issues counsel should address when customizing long-term relationships for services with outside counsel. Included topics: performance, best practices, scope of legal services, cost of legal services, finding support within the organization, managing the process, selection methods, selection criteria, third parties, fees, performance and evaluation.

This case study describes how TD Bank Financial Group improved the quality of legal services to the bank and balanced the cost-effectiveness of its work flow practices with the business relationships it wanted to protect. The number of law firms was reduced from 850 to a little over 100. Stable legal teams and 3-year price structures were negotiated with every firm. The bank is projected to save more than 20% on its legal costs across a 3-year period.

"Best Practices for Partnering Between Corporate Counsel and Law Firms"
Report to Legal Management, September 2002

Law firms seldom take the initiative to migrate beyond pricing initiatives and service programs. However, some have formalized long-term partnering programs with key clients. This requires a willing client, a lot of unbillable time, and steadily improving data.

"Keeping the Lid on Legal Costs"
Lexpert, June 2002

Corporate counsel all reported a concern with rising legal costs. Case planning / budgeting and preferred staffing profiles are explored as techniques to keep legal costs in line. Service levels are not compromised and the quality of legal work remains intact.

"Three Reasons Why RFPs Fail"
Canadian Corporate Counsel Association Handbook, Spring Edition, 1999

There are several instances where legal departments prepare requests for proposals ( RFPs ) for legal services from outside counsel. In the face of these imperatives, many RFPs fail for three main reasons — poor data, unclear expectations, and insufficient preparation time.

"Make Your Selection of Outside Counsel More Than a Beauty Contest"
CCC Practice Manual, Release 3 (December 1998)

Practical guidance and a sequence of issues counsel should address when customizing long-term relationships for services with outside counsel. Included topics: performance, best practices, scope of legal services, cost of legal services, finding support within the organization, managing the process, selection methods, selection criteria, third parties, fees, performance and evaluation.

   
 
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