As one of the 25 GCs who signed the Open Letter last year to announce the GC Thought Leaders Experiment, I was very interested to read AdvanceLaw’s recent articles on law firm panels.  Given the conventional wisdom (including my own) that consolidating outside counsel into a panel of go-to law firms is the right way to go, I was surprised by the finding that panel firms tend to perform worse for clients than non-panel firms (and clients with panels don’t receive better service than clients without panels).  Here is the key graphic telling that story:

This graphic and related analysis are found here: Law Firm Panels: Are They Designed to Fail? and Law Firm Panels: Are Clients Demotivating Their Law Firms?. Like the authors of these articles, however, I am optimistic about panels, with the caveat that they must be created and managed correctly, which is of course easier said than done. The reason for my article is that I’ve just finished building out a law firm panel, and I’d like to share what I’ve learned.

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