I disagree with this statement: "A decade or so ago, the role of General Counsel was a lot simpler – it involved managing the panel law firms (often over a lengthy spot of lunch) and doing a bit of day to day to work." I've been an in-house lawyer for around 25 years and that description in Ken Jagger's article is not recognisable to me. The vast majority of GCs were making a huge impact on their businesses that many years ago. Other parts of Mr Jagger's article are closer to an accurate picture, however, particularly the section I've quoted below. The impact that NewLaw firms such as Halebury are having on the marketplace for legal services is considerable.
The ACLA Report suggests that the default position of busy General Counsel remains to either do the work themselves or brief it out to their traditional law firms. But the market has changed rapidly. There are now a range of providers, like AdventBalance, who have listened to what their clients need and established their business models (and structured their fees) accordingly. A modern “legal panel” should include secondment firms, project managers, regulatory compliance and training providers, legal technology solutions, legal process outsourcers and of course specialist traditional law firms.