In our second year of the expanded Best Legal Departments package— last year we jumped the number of departments we honored from one to four—we received the deepest and widest set of submissions yet. The number was up substantially, the quality seemed better, and the range of departments was as broad as we’d hoped.
Acorda Therapeutics: Scrappy But Savvy
Acorda’s lawyers do a bit of everything—and like it that way.
Bristol-Myers Squibb: The Caped Crusaders
The legal team collaborates the way a certain dynamic duo does on the silver screen. And like them, it gets results.
Caesars Entertainment: Render Unto Caesars
Its law department does just that by taking care of business.
California State University: Going 4.0
Cal State’s lawyers get straight A’s for reducing caseload and expenses. (read the article)
Call for Nominations
Corporate Counsel magazine will again honor four in-house law departments in our Best Legal Departments issue that will be published in June 2013. We are eager to consider a wide variety of nominees, ranging from departments at Fortune 500 companies to those at smaller companies and nonprofits (including colleges and universities). Lawyers who work in government agencies, however, are not eligible. (read the article)
Participate in the Voting for Innovative Law Department Award Nominee Presentations
Are you an ILTA member? If so, you are invited to listen-in on live presentations from the Innovative Law Department Award nominees and cast your vote. Here’s the dial-in info:
Innovative Law Department Award Nominee Presentations
Monday, August 27, 4:00-5:00 pm Eastern
Dial in: 1 800 215 2859
Conference ID 2694079
Click here for voting info.
Survey finds Wachtell Lipton named top law firm for general corporate practice, Skadden ranked No. 1 in four categories
Alex Vorro, InsideCounsel
Vault.com, which provides employer and university rankings, ratings and reconnaissance, yesterday released its 2013 Practice Area Rankings.
The annual rankings examine 23 different practice areas, including bankruptcy, clean tech, corporate, energy, intellectual property, international, litigation, real estate, labor and employment, tax and technology law practices. (read the article)
ACC Reveals Its List of In-House Value Champions
Catherine Dunn, CorporateCounsel
The secrets to big-time budgetary savings in the law department got a little less secret on Thursday, when the Association of Corporate Counsel announced its inaugural class of ACC Value Champions—five in-house departments and seven pairings of in-house teams and outside firms that demonstrated lawyers can think like businesspeople, too.
The standalone in-house departments to earn the championship title are GlaxoSmithKline, The Home Depot, Lucchini S.p.A., Medtronic, and Pfizer Inc. (read the article)
The 2011 IC10 winners This year’s winners use confident creativity to initiate innovative solutions within their legal departments.
Cathleen Flahardy, Ashley Post, Mary Swanton, Alex Vorro, InsideCounsel
Endless blog posts, webinars, legal magazine articles and panel discussions over the past few years have chewed on the question of whether there is a viable option to the billable hour for compensating outside counsel.
At Pfizer, the answer to that question is an emphatic yes. The pharmaceutical giant is in its third of year of a partnership with 19 law firms known as the Pfizer Legal Alliance (PLA), which goes far beyond other attempts at alternative fee arrangements. General Counsel Amy Schulman, architect of the PLA, sees it as changing the whole paradigm of the inside-outside counsel relationship by completely removing the billable hour as a measure of value. (read the article)
Setting the Bar High: Abbott Laboratories
Best Legal Departments 2012: Abbott’s in-house lawyers are expected to meet big challenges—and they do.
Shannon Green, CorporateCounsel
To help them meet her always high expectations, one of the big changes Schumacher made early on was taking the administrative work of running the department away from the lawyers. Before she took over, the lawyers were shouldering a lot of the legal operations work. Instead of using a centralized system, department heads were haphazardly managing vendors and processing conflicts waivers. Schumacher knew that the department needed to be run more like a business.
Enter Jeff Paquin. Paquin was a long way from Illinois when he was asked to come onboard as head of legal operations. “I was running my own firm in Atlanta,” he says, “minding my own business.” Schumacher had a vision to create a division that would be led by high-caliber legal and business minds. Paquin was impressed enough to move. (read the article)
Best Legal Departments 2012: From Singular to Plural
This year, for the first time, we’ve chosen four Best Legal Departments. They range in size from a department that features 140 attorneys in the United States to a department with just one. We didn’t go looking for a department that small just to make a point, but we’re kind of glad it worked out that way. This year, size really didn’t matter.
What do these departments have in common? At first glance, not much. One general counsel’s problem was a billion-dollar verdict that her company was facing; another was dealing with a contract dispute over a killer whale. One GC was buried under 5,000 pending legal actions; another inherited a department that sued first and asked questions later. (read the article)
The Am Law 100 2012
The American Lawyer
All the key financial metrics for The Am Law 100 rose by single digits last year: gross revenue, revenue per lawyer, and profits per partner. Eighty-three firms posted revenue gains—25 more than in the previous year.
Second Transformative Leadership Awards to take place on the West Coast
Nominations are now open for TLA West
Julie Beck, InsideCounsel
Have you always wanted to come to our Transformative Leadership Awards (TLA) dinner but just couldn’t seem to make it all the way to Chicago? Maybe you live out West, and you’ve been thinking “Hey, we have sunshine. Why not do the awards here?” (read the article) (check out TLA West website)