Top Five Pet Peeves When Instructing External Lawyers

February 28, 2022

Our team have hailed from all walks of life, from private practice, to household names. As a result, many of our lawyers have sat on both sides of the fence. No stranger to the pressures faced by in-house counsel, we’ve developed our own pet peeves over the years, and as such, sympathise with the plight of our in-house brethren.

Instructing external counsel is rarely – if ever – seamless and so we thought we would share our top 5 pet peeves when instructing external lawyers.

Lawyer Pet Peeve: Scope and quotes

Success! You’ve scored budget to get external support (never a guarantee in-house, where you’re often seen as a cost centre) on that complex deal, and key stakeholders (including those holding the purse strings) are looking for a quick turnaround. You get that instruction email out in record-breaking time, only to walk straight into the quicksand of scope and quotes. Ugh.

You wade through the swamp of negotiating fee quotes which are peppered with caveats that come back to bite you when the business instructions and demands inevitably change. Straight out of the scope and quote frying pan into the scope creep and surprise costs fire. Damn.

Lawyer Pet Peeve: Missed deadlines

You’ve agreed to an eye-watering quote, but at least it means you can get the advice on the date promised. Or does it? We’re all human and we understand that unavoidable things happen but being the client of a lawyer who has overcommitted and failed to tell you this until the agreed deadline is looming is so frustrating.

Lawyer Pet Peeve: Generic advice

It can be harder for external lawyers than in-house lawyers to give advice that is tailored to a business, but being completely neutral is just not helpful. Advice that doesn’t take into account the commercial landscape of a deal, or a mark-up that deals with low-risk areas for the sake of it, can mean hours spent rewriting things. This (and worrying about that PI insurance) can inevitably lead to fence-sitting, but you go to external counsel for that specialist insight and guidance that leads to a credible course of action, not for someone to watch you navigate the many paths in a maze of advice.

Lawyer Pet Peeve: Legalese

It’s 2022 – please, no more.

Lawyer Pet Peeve: Point scoring

It’s no secret that there are a lot of egos in the legal industry, and sometimes a consequence of this is point-scoring. It’s important to remember if the risk is remarkably remote to the business, we shouldn’t be wasting time and money arguing about it.

Pet Peeves Begone: Our Solution to the Gripes and Groans of the Legal Profession

What if there was a hassle-free way to access legal support from lawyers who understand the challenges of in-house counsel? Well, our Flamingo Subscription is just that. We've learned from our pet peeves and have created a subscription that platforms transparent pricing, jargon-free legal support, and pragmatic advice. Not only that, but our Flamingo Subscription gives you access to our team, offering you expertise in data protection, corporate law, day-to-day legals, and much more. We take care of the day-to-day legal work, giving you back the time to be the in-house lawyer you want to be.

Our flamingo subscription provide businesses with a bolt-on legal team they can rely on. Find out more about the flamingo subscription here.

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