European GCs say the party is over

September 20, 2010 At a roundtable discussion at London's College of Law yesterday, general counsel from major corporations including Royal Dutch Shell, Nokia Corporation, and British Airways predicted significant changes to the way that law firms are retained and paid.

Beat Hess, legal director and group executive committee member at Royal Dutch Shell, has said that fees have been too high for years. He added: “Law firms have had Christmas every day for decades now, but the party is over."

Competition among law firms has become fierce in the face of falling demand. Firms are attempting to undercut rivals in order to establish key relationships, and some are even offering to work without fees to get their foot in the door.

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