More chief legal officers plan to beef up their legal departments this year, according to the results of the Association of Corporate Counsel‘s 10th Annual Chief Legal Officer Survey.

But it’s not a sign that the economy is recovering and budgets constraints are easing, says ACC deputy general counsel James Merklinger. Rather, Merklinger says, the added hiring most suggests that the recession is forcing chief legal officers to change the way they operate. They’re bringing more work in-house, spending less on outside counsel, and boosting spending on alternative fee arrangements, the survey shows.

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