I have written before about GE using auctions to buy legal services. Corporate Legal Times reports GE recently used an online auction to choose its final firms. 

Bidding Wars (Sept 2005) reports that GE used 500 firms last year. After a cut based on quality, and then one based on RFPs, the final cut was an online auction to get the “best rates” from the finalists. (Consultant Rees Morrison questions the idea of best rate in his blog post.)

GE also appears to be thinking about developing best practices. The article reports that “in-house lawyers and preferred M&A counsel gathered in July to discuss how GE’s deal process could be improved and made more consistent.”

As I suggest in prior posts, price pressure should drive even top law firms to think more creatively about how they can deploy legal technology to deliver high quality results at lower cost.