Outside Counsel Spending

by F.

The news just gets better and better. First, the Exxon verdict was upheld. Now it seem that the Fortune 1000 are ready to spend even more on outside counsel:

Corporate legal bills soared nearly 20 per cent in 2006 and could increase by a further 9 per cent this year, according to a survey of leading companies in the US.

The survey of Fortune 1000 companies by the BTI Consulting Group found that total spending on outside counsel reached $56.4bn in 2006, driven by large increases in spending by the biggest US and multinational firms.

A typical company in the BTI survey spent $19.5m on outside lawyers, nearly double the $10.5m average only five years ago.

Inside lawyers are generally hacks who want to downshift their lives or have failed in firms. The best and brightest lawyers are outside billing the shit out of their clients. And it looks like they’ll be able to keep on truckin’ in 2007:

Firms are increasingly turning to outside legal specialists for their most important work, such as mergers, regulatory problems and class action litigation. Outside lawyers now account for 65 per cent of corporate legal spending by large firms, compared with 42 per cent in 2001

The system works!