*Global Agenda: Issues and Priorities for Senior Corporate Counsel Worldwide is a 2012 study
conducted by the World Law Group in conjunction with LexisNexis Martindale-Hubbell and ELD
International. Nearly 130 senior in-house counsel from large companies in Europe participated in
the global study, and some of their responses are reported here. For a copy of the complete study visit
The drive toward greater value shown in the WLG Global Agenda Study is not surprising,
and many corporate law departments are seeing the benefits. Many legal functions have reported
very substantial savings ( 15 to 40 percent). In addition, the corresponding benefits of the value-based approach include reduced administrative burdens, better-aligned incentives (when provider
fees are correlated with results achieved for the client), and increased productivity and efficiency,
accompanied by more predictable and desirable results.
Against this backdrop, value-based fee structures are seen as an
effective way to manage external legal costs. The Guide to the ACC Value
Challenge in Europe goes beyond the cost of external providers alone. It is a
way of organizing and running the law department in a more competitive
global business environment, focusing on deriving greater value from all
resources, including those within the organization. More law departments
are drawing support from other corporate divisions to increase productivity
and performance through innovative use of technology, knowledge sharing
and similar management tools—all to improve the company’s bottom line.
Many functions in today’s corporations are being asked to do more without
increasing their budgets. The argument that “legal
is different” is increasingly falling on deaf ears.
Partly adapted from
ACC Guide to Value-Based Fees – 2010
1 D. Who wins?
What do the in-house legal function, external providers, the company and its stakeholders
stand to gain?
•;Improve the way legal services are purchased and delivered.
•;Focus on results and outcomes that add value for the corporate client.
“Through a detailed study in our UK Legal team (commercial transactions), we found that more than
half of our work was on low complexity transactions/ activities with revenues/risks under £10m, and
less than 20 percent of all work was on high complexity/higher risk work with revenues/risks over £50m.
We wanted to shift our legal team’s focus to support internal clients on higher value/risk work.”
- Chris Fowler and David Gribble, BT Global Services UK, from case example p. 70