June 01, 2014

Working with Corporate Clients in the New Legal Landscape

Alan Nathanson

In 2009 Amy Shulman, general counsel for Pfizer, Inc., required a handful of law firms to abandon the billable hour and insisted that their lawyers find new ways to assess the value of their work. She created the Pfizer Legal Alliance, which assigned its law firms a portfolio of litigation cases at a flat annual fee. The date is important. The global financial crisis had caused the bottom to fall out of the demand for legal services. As firms were letting go legions of lawyers, the legal industry transformed into a buyer’s market. Pfizer is only one example of the countless companies worldwide that were suddenly empowered to demand their outside law firms reduce costs and deliver business value for every legal issue.

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