Value Now Trumps Cost Control as Corporate Counsel’s Top Goal

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BTI Consulting Group research with general counsel reveals first big goal shift in the last 6 years.

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These strategies may seem counterintuitive now, but will be an integral part of the landscape in the years ahead.

The 7-year itch struck in-house counsel in 2013 as the number who now see delivering value as their top goal soared to 31.8% from 18.7% last year, as revealed in the newest release of BTI Consulting Group's Benchmarking Corporate Counsel Management Strategies. Controlling legal costs topped the priority list for each of the 6 years prior to 2013—peaking in 2009 as the financial crisis took its toll. Now, as companies face more global competition, corporate counsel eye new ways to add more value and support business goals.

This quest for value drives corporate counsel to look for bigger savings from outside counsel—the kind rarely achieved by rate cuts. New tactics in-house counsel use to meet this new value goal include:

  •     Redefining strategies to obtain permits and regulatory approvals faster
  •     Planning for acquisitions before the business units engage in talks
  •     Sitting on R&D committees to spot IP opportunities earlier

“The law firms working hand-in-hand with their clients to help them achieve these new value goals have the greatest opportunity for future success,” comments Michael B. Rynowecer, President of BTI. “These strategies may seem counterintuitive now, but will be an integral part of the landscape in the years ahead.”

BTI conducted more than 300 independent, individual interviews with CLOs and General Counsel at Fortune 1000 companies and large organizations for this year’s report. Now in its 13th year, BTI conducts the only continuous benchmarking market study of corporate counsel worldwide.

Find more information about this and other compelling research, visit us at or contact BTI at 617.439.0333. BTI is the undisputed leader in providing high-impact strategic research to professional service firms and their clients.

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Michael B. Rynowecer
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