Sunday, November 05, 2006

Paying Pittance For Legal Work

Often, I meet practising lawyers who share with me that certain organisations are making it difficult for them by paying a pittance for regular matters. And they tell me it is the role of corporate counsel to share this feedback with their respective employers.

While I agreed it may be difficult for these lawyers, I disagreed it is the role of corporate counsel to protect the interests of such practising lawyers.

The primary duties of the corporate counsel is, after all, to protect the interests of one's employer and to control the legal liabilities and expenses that such an employer is exposed to.

I also disagreed that these organisations were making it difficult for such practising lawyers. I put the blame squarely on those lawyers that produce good quality work and yet agree to be paid a pittance for such matters.

It would be ridiculous for corporate counsel to persuade the management of their respective organisations to pay more in legal fees in the face of such credible practising lawyers agreeing to do the work.

Dharmendra Yadav

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I think your view is misguided. There are various reasons that fees are low. I will not go into them but it is frankly preposterous to say that lawyers CHOOSE to agree to accept lower fees. Your primary responsibility is to your employer and I believe that in turn would require you to ensure that legal work carried out for your insureds is of a suitable standard. Word on the ground is that the quality of work has been dropping because your panel lawyers cannot justify spending the required time on the files. Ultimately, your customers are the ones being short-changed. That I believe is what your lawyer friends are trying to tell you.