TIP: If you struggle to locate this information and you do not use summary management
documents like those listed above, consider how you can improve your approach to gathering
and keeping this information for future use. Ask outside counsel to provide this information in
an effective way, and then store it so it can be retrieved later. And look at automated options that
make the capture and future retrieval and manipulation of this information easier.
Step 2 Tap the sources: When facing a new matter without existing information, tap other sources
– like other inside counsel – to discuss their experiences and expectations. You can benchmark
value with other companies and ACC members. However, take care to discuss appropriately to avoid
running afoul of either legal or professional concerns, such as antitrust and confidentiality rules and
regulations. Benchmarking on total costs, for example, is better than on hourly rates.
Step 3 Consider law firm input: After you have gathered all of your existing sources of information
about the scope of the matter, you must determine whether you are going to assign the matter to a
law firm without further input on scope. This is a key decision. If you, as the client, already have the
core information on scope of work to be performed, then you may determine that you do not need
to involve law firm(s) in the scoping process. But if your efforts to scope that
matter produce gaps in what exactly needs to be done, or if you are hiring a
firm precisely because you have limited experience with this kind of work
(and they’ve done it many times over for many different clients), then you
should consider involving the firm(s) being considered to perform the work
in the scoping process. Doing this will also produce greater “buy in” and
commitment to project plans and budgets if the firm(s) ultimately assigned
had a hand in crafting these plans.
ACC Guide to Managing
Outside Counsel – 2011
From a client’s perspective, effective scoping and cost conversations
with law firms often occur when multiple firms are involved before the
assigning decisions is made. In that context, there is greater validation of the
assumptions and price points. For an illustrations of how this is effectively
done, see resource below.