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what are in house counsel up to?

16 October 2015

The recent Thompson Router’s survey is fairly revealing on trends in the sector, and it’s not all good news for law firms.

If you’re in house yourself you’ll probably recognise the key themes - an overall push to do more work in house and to get a return from work sent out to external counsel.

The push to do more work in house is driving a growth in in house teams, in terms of headcount (60% of legal teams hired new staff last year) as well sophistication (with a growth in knowledge and template banks kept in house). As a consequence the report notes a significant decrease in the amount of work being sent to outside counsel. In house teams, it seems, are sending less work externally and are sending it to fewer firms.

For those of us competing for that work - the challenge is on - for innovative ways of working with in house counsel, for better and simpler cost models. Effectively - to justify why in house counsel should bear the cost of sending work externally, in the face of an overriding commercial drive to keep work in house. As a firm we’re confident that we’re up to the challenge and that we are making lives of in house counsel easier, but it’s certainly a reminder, if any were needed, to keep innovating and to keep challenging how we provide legal advice.

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