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In recent conversations with several in-house counsel, most are (unsurprisingly) revealing that they are freezing rates paid to counsel in 2009. What’s interesting is two-fold:

1. Many are not proactively notifying their outside counsel, but rather waiting to see if their outside counsel will actually raise rates in 2009, and notify them of the increase by a relatively (insensitive) generic letter, and

2. Budget for most companies for 2009 have long been set. Which begs the question: If companies finalize their budgets in the fall, why don’t law firms communicate rate changes in a manner that matches their budget time frames?

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