If you think law firm rates are too high, you’re not alone.

According to Consero Group’s 2013 Spring General Counsel Survey, 61 percent of Fortune 1000 GCs are unsatisfied with the rates they pay to outside counsel.

To combat high billing rates, many GCs are turning to alternative-fee arrangements (AFAs). The survey found that 61 percent of GCs use AFAs, and 60 percent plan to increase their AFA use in the next year.

“General Counsel are under increasing pressure to reduce legal expenses and obtain even more value from outside counsel,” Paul Mandell, founder and CEO of Consero, said in a press release. “It is therefore no surprise that they believe rates for outside counsel are too high and that the move to alternative-fee arrangements will continue over the year ahead.”

Other findings from the survey include:

  • 31 percent of GCs’ companies have experienced a cyber security breach in the past year
  • 23 percent of GCs said their organizations aren’t prepared for cyber attacks
  • 31 percent of GCs’ companies aren’t prepared to defend against intellectual property theft
  • 69 percent of GCs haven’t identified a successor
  • 81 percent of GCs are satisfied with their companies’ social media policies

For more recent InsideCounsel stories about outside counsel costs, read:

Facts & Figures: Litigation driving hiring at law firms, legal departments

Law firm hourly rates jumped 4.8% last year

Cheat Sheet: What inside counsel need to know about alternative fee arrangements

Roughly half of U.S. and U.K. companies push for alternative fee arrangements

Strategies for leaner legal departments: Part 2