How Fund Managers Can Control Legal Costs and Negotiate Outside Counsel Fees (Part One of Three)

Under constant pressure from investors to reduce their management fees, fund managers are always on the lookout for ways to cut costs. This burden is often shifted to GCs of fund managers, who are then forced to scrutinize ways to squeeze improved cost efficiencies out of their own legal departments and their outside legal counsel. Trimming expenses goes beyond the actual fees and costs charged, however, and extends to how the tasks and participants in a full legal program are managed to ensure optimization. For this three-part series, the Hedge Fund Law Report interviewed several fund manager GCs and legal-expense consultants for their insights about the best ways to manage those efforts. This first article focuses on ways fund managers can reduce legal expenses by examining the charges levied by their outside counsel and negotiating favorable fee rates. The second article will detail considerations for GCs to weigh when selecting outside counsel. The third article will suggest ways to allocate legal work between in-house attorneys, outside counsel and compliance consultants. See “The Importance of Exercising Due Diligence When Hiring Auditors and Other Vendors” (Jun. 21, 2018); and “How Fund Managers Can Develop an Effective Third-Party Management Program” (Sep. 21, 2017).

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