TIP: While it would be ideal to accomplish all of these at once, it is often best to focus on
achieving a couple of key goals at the outset, then expanding from there.
Improve outside counsel’s working knowledge of your business
Information exchange - share with outside counsel key updates and reports from the business and
the Legal department. These can be documents or presentations on:
•;business performance (annual reports and SEC filings),
•;product issues (marketed products or those in development), and
•;strategic initiatives (to the extent these should be shared).
•;Invite some of your key outside counsel to join inside counsel on a tour of a manufacturing
plant or other company facility.
•;Include outside counsel at some of your periodic group/department meetings.
Annual preferred counsel meeting - consider inviting your key law firms to join members of the legal
department to discuss key updates on the business, legal initiatives, the broader legal and regulatory
environments, and inside/outside counsel operations.
Scope the assignment with your outside provider
After you have outlined the scope of the matter, it is helpful to the final product to then
involve the firm(s) being considered to perform the work in the scoping process. Doing this will
produce greater “buy in” and commitment to project plans and budgets if the firm(s) ultimately
assigned had a hand in crafting these plans.
Scoping and cost conversations with law firms often occur with multiple firms involved
before one firm is assigned the matter, whether through a formal RFP or not. These discussions can
validate basic assumptions and price points when multiple law firms independently gravitate around
a similar set of activity assumptions and/or budget figures.
Even if the assignment is with an existing external provider with whom you may work day
to day, it is still valuable to both client and provider to discuss scope at the start. The scoping process
provides much more clarity about the assignment and desired outcomes.