Corporate legal departments have substantial negotiating power over the hourly rates at both small and large law firms, but limit most of their pushback to smaller firms, according to a new report from Wolters Kluwer ELM Solutions.

The harsh assessment came from Nathan Cemenska, the director of legal operation and industry insights at ELM Solutions, who wrote in the report that legal departments are only willing to flex their pricing power “where it matters least: In smaller, less expensive firms where both rate increases and the underlying rate tend to be lower, limiting opportunities for savings.”

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