Despite what appears to be a challenging economic environment for lawyers, including at large law firms, 2009 may bring additional work flow. According to an extensive annual survey of corporate directors and general counsel at thousands of large public companies, 80% expect to retain outside counsel in 2009 to address important legal matters. Almost of all of these cite needs in mergers, compliance, intellectual property, labor matters and contract disputes.
Demand for non-legal consultants also appears less strong, with 61% of respondents citing need to retain outside experts in those same fields plus in risk management. The survey is the 8th annual one undertaken by Corporate Board Member and FTI Consulting. The survey report also summarizes leaders’ views on topics seen as of greatest importance to corporate America and corporate governance in 2009.