Corporate Counsel magazine (January 2006 issue) did a survey of General Counsel at Fortune 250 Companies. The survey found (15% response rate) that 34% of the surveyed GCs fired a firm in 2005 for poor performance, 3% for poor technological capabilities, 3% for lack of diversity, 9% for a combination of those factors and 31% did so for other reasons. The survey doesn't suggest whether these terminations are of primary counsel or peripheral counsel.
The same issue reports that 46% of the top 200 firms anticipate raising their hourly rates by more than 5%, while 53% expect to raise rates by 5% or less.
I wonder whether the January 2007 issue will contain survey results showing a significant percentage of firms being fired for being too expensive.