According to a study by BTI Consulting Group, corporate law departments are using 25 percent to 30 percent fewer law firms than they did three years ago. At the same time, corporate legal staffs have shrunk 40 percent, even as companies shift more work to outside firms.
One common refrain that surveyor Mozhgan Mizban hears from clients is that they want much more than a straight legal adviser. "They want someone who really understands their business," Mizban said to the Recorder.
According to Ralph Savarese in the same article, corporations now also regard law firms the way they do other suppliers of goods and services and want to have more control over their behavior. "Most of the work done for most large companies is not brain surgery but more treating colds, sores, tonsillitis, measles," Savarese said. "When it's brain surgery, they want to go to the surgeon who's done that specific brain surgery 1,000 times and won't ask the cost."