Legal expense management news for March 7, 2014

Law department operations manager’s message to law firms who want to stay with traditional hourly rate structures: “I’m not sure how much longer we’ll continue to work with firms that won’t change.”

More competition coming to the legal services market: $458 million was invested into legal startups in 2013, and 2014 looks to be another big year. Meanwhile, Harvard Law School hosted a conference on “disruptive innovation” in legal services, and start-up out of Stanford Law School launches “platform designed to enable lawyers to offer unbundled legal services over the Internet as standardized, set-priced products…” (sub. req’d)

Deloitte survey of U.K. BigLaw finds “strengthening” of law firm rates, including a 4.5% increase in fees per fee earner for Q3 FY14 and a 3.5% increase in average rates recovered per hour across all firms.

Could upcoming U.S. Supreme Court ruling on “fraud on the market” theory potentially wipe out a swath of shareholder class actions – and affect the defense bar’s business model just as much as the plaintiffs’ lawyers?

Goldman Sachs reduced its forecast for legal fees by about $400 million.

National Football League paid BigLaw nearly $25 million during the 2012 fiscal year. (sub. req’d)

U.K. panel news includes the Royal Shakespeare Company‘s inaugural panel, and a 170-firm corporate and commercial banking panel.

If you’re a Texas Lawbook subscriber, check out their article “Five Firms Experiment With Alternative Fee Arrangements.”

It’s slightly off-topic, but an interesting billing dispute nonetheless: Feds say that telco’s overbilled them for eavesdropping on phone calls.

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