Law departments have been taking on more and more work as corporate legal budgets tighten, and general counsel continue to hire savvy, experienced lawyers. But they still keep the nation’s big, business-oriented law firms in business for those occasions when a department doesn’t have either the expertise or the sheer firepower that law firms can muster.
Every year, we track those close client-law firm relationships, and chart who’s representing whom in a number of practice areas. We break out IP litigation, as it’s a practice area that’s become increasingly essential in a tech-driven, service-oriented economy. We also take a look at the state of the legal department-law firm relationship, which seems fundamentally changed since the Great Recession of 2008. Both sides conduct their business differently now.