10 steps for an efficient legal department

By Julia Duke

12 June 2013 at 11:04 BST

General counsel can achieve a cost-effective legal department if they follow they follow ten steps, according to the Corporate Executive Board.


CEB looked at 180 departments and analyzed what exactly they were spending money on. They came up with a list every legal department should follow to ultimately be cost-effective.

The list includes performing more work inhouse, aiming to do 60 per cent inhouse unless there is a reason to go to an external firm. If there is, then contract the work out.The group advocates using non-lawyer professionals more often, investing in a talented legal operations manager and investing in appropriate legal technologies.

Unbundling services

The company also advises unbundling legal services - differentiating between administrative tasks and due diligence and patent filing. CEB also says budgeting for litigation and closely overseeing it is crucial. Using smaller firms more often and reducing the number of law firms used is key as is a review of alternative fee arrangements. Self assessment is also advocated such as benchmarking budgets and slashing costs when necessary.




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