Survey tracks corporate spending for outside counsel

first_img February 15, 2002 Regular News Survey tracks corporate spending for outside counsel How will U.S. corporations adjust their spending on outside legal counsel in 2002? Will the recession rein in spending, or will economic factors be less of a concern, as businesses call on outside firms more to help navigate a changing regulatory landscape and rising litigation?It turns out that companies may be headed in both directions, according to a new survey on law department spending by National Economic Research Associates.In its first annual “Legal Leading Indicators” survey, NERA found that more than a third of the country’s largest corporations (38 percent) say they plan on decreasing spending for outside lawyers, although the decrease is not expected to be dramatic. The percentage of spending on outside counsel, as a share of overall spending, is expected to slip from 53.5 percent in 2001 to 51.6 percent in 2002. At the same time, 23 percent of companies surveyed projected an increase in outside law firm spending.Even the projected decrease is not across the board. For a few key specialties, notably labor and employment and regulation, the percentage of companies that anticipate increasing outside legal budgets was greater than those anticipating a decrease. The same pattern emerged for international work — more companies than not expect to increase spending for legal work outside the U.S.Staffing changes and changes in regulation are the most important factors influencing outside counsel spending next year, ahead of changes in the economy, and far more important than “threats of terrorism,” which was cited as an important factor by only two percent of companies surveyed.For some, staffing changes simply mean more in-house hiring, according to the NERA.“We will be bringing in higher-level, in-house talent,” said one respondent to the NERA study. “More in-house counsel,” echoed another, with “more focus and closer review of outside billings.”The survey suggests that this past year found many corporate law departments at a crossroads. When asked to compare current legal budgets with 2000, 48 percent of companies reported there had been an increase, while only 18 percent reported a decrease.Looking ahead to 2002, 39 percent anticipated that outside legal spending would decrease “somewhat” or “a lot,” while 38 percent said that their outside legal spending would remain flat in the coming year.The NERA survey was based on interviews with 302 firms with annual revenues of $500 million or more. Sixty-two percent reported sales of least $1 billion, and 62 percent of respondents identified themselves as chief counsel.NERA, an economic research firm and an affiliate of Marsh & McLennan, provides economic consulting services to both in-house legal departments, as well as many private law firms.center_img Survey tracks corporate spending for outside counsellast_img read more

Champions Trophy semi-final :Kohli calls for complete focus against ‘dangerous’ opponents Bangladesh

first_img(REUTERS) – India captain Virat Kohli shrugged off concerns about his team’s lower-middle order ahead of their Champions Trophy semi-final with Bangladesh today and called for complete focus against their “dangerous” opponents.India’s top order were solid in group-stage victories over Pakistan and South Africa, meaning the likes of Hardik Pandya, Kedar Jadhav and Ravindra Jadeja have not really been tested apart from during the defeat by Sri Lanka.The trio did not bat against South Africa and Jadeja has not faced a ball in the tournament, leading to concerns about what might happen if the likes of Rohit Sharma, Shikhar Dhawan, Kohli, Yuvraj Singh and Mahendra Singh Dhoni fail to fire.“As a batsman you want to finish off games,” Kohli told a news conference yesterday. “You are not necessarily going to get out thinking ‘my middle order has not got enough game time’.“We know Kedar and Hardik are playing really well at the moment so we are not bothered at all.”Kohli said India would field the same team that pulled off a comprehensive eight-wicket win over South Africa in their last match, meaning spinner Ravichandran Ashwin will keep his place at the expense of pace bowler Umesh Yadav.The skipper also warned his team not to underestimate Bangladesh, a team who have improved dramatically over the past few years to the point where they are now one game away from reaching a first final at an ICC event.“It’s no surprise anymore to anyone that they are doing really well,” Kohli added. “They are a very dangerous side on their day and everyone realises that … Bangladesh have taken huge strides.”Bangladesh skipper Mashrafe Mortaza urged his team not to let the hype surrounding the match get to them.“Our plan was always to take it match by match,” he said. “I think if everyone approaches the semi-final as just another match, it will be good for the team.“There will be a lot of hype around this game … but our first task is to stay relaxed and play.”Mortaza said Bangladesh would need to adapt to the conditions at Edgbaston, a venue they have not played at yet during the tournament.“The wicket looks the same as the one at The Oval,” he added. “It could be tough, but the truth is we will have to adjust to playing on it no matter what shape it is in.”The Bangladesh skipper also dismissed concerns that the pressure of the occasion could get to his side.“If you talk about pressure, I think India have more pressure than we. Because huge population is there and the people love cricket a lot,” he said. “Both teams have a lot of expectations.”last_img read more