- Overall Satisfaction with Outside Counsel;
- Costs Attributable to Use of Outside Counsel;
- Adequacy of Cash Flows to Support Internal Counsel; and
- Nature of Anticipated Needs (e.g., legally-intensive regulatory compliance, patenting and licensing of intellectual property, etc.).
I suspect that also on the list of determinants are the personal beliefs and values of the Chief Executive Officer. If that person appreciates lawyers, the department will appear more quickly.CEO or otherwise, one does not appreciate lawyers solely for our witty repartee and keen fashion sense. Instead, "appreciation" is really nothing more than the consideration of the value an attorney can add to one's business rather than just a calculation of the overhead he or she adds. In considering when to hire an in-house attorney, this essentially boils down to an expectation that an attorney can add value rather than just becoming a cost center.
Cost considerations aside, the principal advantages of inside over outside counsel are continuous accessibility and depth of knowledge concerning client needs. When either of these characteristics would add measurable value to a growing business -- by facilitating an increased number of quality of sales, for example -- smart businesses account for that added value in their cost considerations.