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Some in-house counsel would give their eye teeth to be in a monopoly position when purchasing legal services. Not only could they remorselessly drive down fees, they could also use their power in other ways. They might require a panel firm to open a new office, or transfer a team to another firm, or even merge – if it would help them get their services to order. In the private sector such monopolies are forbidden for the good reason that they restrict competition and encourage corruption. But they do exist in the public sector. One example of a purchaser of legal services that enjoys a highly potent monopoly is the National Health Service Litigation Authority (NHSLA).

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