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Bloomberg:Honeywell’s Penny-Pinching Top Lawyer Squeezes Fees (Update1)

By Carlyn Kolker

Houston-based Shell, the U.S. unit of Royal Dutch Shell Plc, Europe’s largest oil company, used more than 400 law firms before paring down in 2003. Now it sends the majority of its work to 28 “strategic” partners.

Discounts on hourly rates are “a key part” of the arrangements, said William Lowrey, Shell’s general counsel.

Shell rates law firms based on factors such as cost- effectiveness, quality and commitment to diversity. Shell has dropped firms when “our needs and the needs of the firms didn’t match up,” Lowrey, 54, said.

Kreindler says the volume of work he sends to a firm gives him more sway on issues such as how to staff a case.

“The number of cases you place with a firm and your importance to the firm allows you to exercise more control,” Kreindler said.

To contact the reporter on this story: Carlyn Kolker in New York at [email protected] .

The above is an extract: for the full article published on 6 July 2007 go to…

http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=newsarchive&sid=aJ6o7gk.q3.g

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