In 2015 BTI Consulting estimated that 60 percent of legal decision-makers had replaced their primary firms in the prior 18 months and the number-one reason for doing so was that they believed they would get better service elsewhere. It goes without saying that changing outside counsel is frustrating, time consuming and costly. This article provides four keys to creating a successful relationship with outside counsel so that you can be part of the fortunate 40 percent.

Key Number One: Help outside counsel understand your business. One of the biggest complaints from in-house counsel is that outside counsel does not understand their business. In some ways, it is easy to see how this might happen. Outside counsel is often brought in to address a particular problem or to defend a particular lawsuit. Counsel may mistakenly think that he or she is doing the company a favor and saving fees by staying laser focused only on the issue directly in front of them. But really, this approach often proves shortsighted and may backfire.

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