Business of Law

By Using Only 2 Law Firms, 1 Co. Cuts Legal Budget 20% and Saves Staff Lawyer Time


Levi Strauss & Co. chopped perhaps 20 percent off its outside counsel costs by having Orrick Herrington & Sutcliffe and Townsend and Townsend and Crew handle all of its global legal work on a flat-fee basis. Although the company doesn’t disclose its total legal budget, comparable companies have budgets topping $10 million, according to Corporate Counsel.

But in addition to saving money for Levi Strauss, the highly unusual arrangement also frees up a great deal of staff attorney time by eliminating the need for the company’s in-house lawyers to negotiate retainer agreements with outside lawyers and review their bills, says general counsel Hilary Krane.

“My internal lawyers are the most valuable asset I have,” she states, “and I felt they should be spending their time creating strategic advantages for the business instead of managing outside counsel.”

Meanwhile, having one outside law firm oversee all similar matters globally results in greater efficiency and more uniform disposition of cases, according to the article.

Earlier coverage:

ABAJournal.com: “Levi’s Is Paying Orrick a Flat Fee to Handle All But Its IP Work”

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