The economy may be showing signs of improvement, but controlling outside legal costs is the top priority for general counsel — even if it requires taking some “draconian” measures, one top lawyer at the Association of Corporate Counsel’s 2009 Annual Meeting says.

For the first time in three years, in-house counsel say that reducing outside legal spending is now their first priority, according to the 2009 Association of Corporate Counsel/Serengeti Managing Outside Counsel Survey, released at the ACC meeting in Boston. And as part of the ongoing ACC Value Challenge, several sessions at the meeting are trying to help in-house lawyers get more value from the law firms they hire.

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