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The Red Zone

The RED ZONE - Selecting Outside Counsel

By Allan Colman, the Closers Group

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According to a recent BTI survey conducted in 2006, 61.1% of corporate clients had fired at least one of their primary law firms in the previus 18 months. This represents almost a 10% increase over the previous year. One of the majr reasons for this volume of action is that your long-term clients may no longer be in decisionmaking positions. Buyers of legal services form attitudes often unsuspected by law firms that are based on internal pressures: * GC's positions have become more tenuous; * Shareholdure pressures on corporate value have increased; * New product or service development costs have grown; * Boards of Directors' expectations of in-house counsel and their roles in "preventive law" present even greater challenges; * SOX has created liability for GC's that many do not want to bear, or simply can not bear; and * CEO's are breathing down their necks. So when you are preparing to enter pitch or proposal meetings, or just staying in touch with your clients, find out "what keeps 'em up at night." Ignorance is not bliss - so ask.

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