Issues and challenges around pricing, alternative fee arrangements and value understandably still get plenty of air-time. They received top billing at the recent COLPM (College of Law Practice Management) Futures Conference in Chicago. I read through my notes from talks by two senior in-house counsel – there are strong words and some important messages and tips for law firm leaders, particularly in non-USA jurisdictions:
Mark Ohringer, General Counsel of Jones Lang LaSalle (invented outsourcing of real estate management; top two property managers globally; 40 000 staff in 62 countries) didn’t pull any punches:
- We have tried fixed fee deals and hourly billing with law firms – ‘in our experience it all sucks and the law firms simply don’t manage this well. I am flummoxed by how to deal with this – if I could have 100% of my legal work done in-house, I would – unfortunately for me, reality dictates otherwise’.
- We minimise work we send to law firms as fees are not managed and are sky-high. ‘I choke when I see the bills that come through’.