Changes have occurred for in-house counsel, with emphasis being placed upon efficiency, service and cost-effectiveness. Past thinking was that the larger law firm provided better service and results, and that the geographical reach of regional/national firms was beneficial. However, corporate legal departments are understanding the benefits of retaining the services of a mid-sized firm to one created by “merger mania”. Mid-sized firms have the talent and resources to handle large cases more efficiently and economically, and good results at a fair price is a “win-win” for in-house counsel required to stay within their budgets without sacrificing quality. Rather than stability, the use of regional/national firms in other locales brings new faces, styles and personalities without continuity of service.
It is important to be able to rely upon outside counsel, and a mid-sized firm’s streamlined approach regarding legal services nurtures personal relationships, insures continuity of staffing, promotes trust, loyalty and a good working relationship, and is more productive. Moreover, conflicts of interest requiring the need to look to another firm is less likely when using a mid-sized firm.
Choosing outside counsel is a critical process, and we believe that corporate legal departments are realizing the benefits of utilizing a mid-sized firm.