The Upsides to Downsizing: Why Corporate Clients are Seeking out Smaller Firms

June 30, 2023

Large corporate law departments are pivoting and hiring outside counsel at smaller law firms due to the rising costs in litigation and high hourly rates for outside counsel at firms with over 500 attorneys. Despite healthy operating budgets from strong profitability, they are seeking the best representation at the best cost, and the answer is Rock Fusco & Connelly, LLC.

Thompson Reuters 2023 State of the Corporate Law Department report compiled interviews throughout 2022 with 1,569 companies, each with more than $1 billion in global revenue. These interviews revealed that over the last 4 years, litigation work from Fortune 50 companies to law firms with fewer than 250 attorneys soared from 56% in 2018 to 79% in 2022. Comparatively, firms with more than 500 attorneys saw a decrease in their work from these companies, only receiving 17% of that work in 2022 compared to 37% previously held in 2018.

Many large companies are beginning to realize that smaller firms can provide high quality services at more reasonable prices. According to a survey by, billing rates at firms with over 500 attorneys approach $1,000 an hour for second-year associates. Additionally, hourly rates for partners at these large firms climbed 4.5% in 2022, marking the largest increase in the last decade according to a recent report by LexisNexis CounselLink. The highest billing rates at some big law firms can top between $1,900 to $2,465. Hourly rates for partners at the largest firms (750+ attorneys) charged 46% more, on average, compared to partners at firms with 501-750 attorneys. Corporate legal departments are becoming financially pinched with 65% seeing increased work volume while 59% are dealing with flat, if not decreasing, budgets according to Thomson’s report. These companies are seeking to decrease spending on outside counsel, without compromising the quality of legal representation, by seeking out firms with under 250 attorneys.

Operating a firm with under fifty attorneys allows Rock Fusco & Connelly to provide personalized attention to each client. As a mid-sized firm with a deep bench of multi-faceted professionals, Rock Fusco & Connelly is able to provide our clients with the high-level legal services and expertise they need while providing a more personalized and cost-effective experience. Rock Fusco & Connelly has established itself as a leading firm in corporate, private equity, estate planning, civil litigation, municipal, and civil affairs. For decades, Rock Fusco & Connelly, LLC has provided high quality legal representation at affordable rates, allowing clients to invest in their businesses and not attorney fees.

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