Catherine Dunn, Corporate Counsel
Throughout his professional life, Bill Young has found ways to put both his J.D. and his M.B.A. to good use, specializing in operational management of in-house legal departments. Now, as president of the recently established Institute for Law Department Excellence (ILDE), he’s on a mission to enable in-house attorneys to practice law, and to help those in key operations roles to learn from each other.
“If you are going to enable your lawyers to do lawyering,” Young says, “they cannot be spending 25 to 40 percent of their time on administrative stuff.” (read the article)
Lee Pacchia, ABA Journal
Trevor Faure, Global Leader of Legal Services for Ernst & Young, tells Bloomberg Law’s Lee Pacchia that general counsels at large corporations are looking for four things from the law firms which represent them: professional telepathy, professional prescience, exceptional client service and cost efficiency. “But please note, [cost efficiency] will be fourth, after delivering and bringing the first three,” Faure says. (read the article)
These steps ensure prompt payment of bills submitted to insurers and third-party payors in complex litigation
David McMahon, InsideCounsel
Insurers and third-party payors frequently retain our firm to determine whether the bills generated by outside counsel are reasonable. At times, in-house counsel and law firms also will hire us to ensure that the bills they intend to submit to insurers and other third-party payors will pass muster. There are benefits to conducting this type of prophylactic analysis: The exercise minimizes disputes arising from fee reimbursement arrangements and often facilitates more timely and reliable payments. This article will provide in-house counsel with some tips that we employ to prepare bills incurred in big-ticket litigation. (read the article)
Ari Kaplan, Reinventing Professionals
I spoke with Michael do Rozario and Brian Borskjaer, Special Counsel and Director of the firm’s Legal Technology Solutions team, respectively, at Corrs Chambers Westgarth, a prominent Australian law firm with offices in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, and Perth.
We discussed Casefolio, the firm’s new award-winning document review app, its development, and the user experience, among many other topics. (read the post)
In a growing global business world, more and more GCs are hiring counsel abroad
Cathleen Flahardy, InsideCounsel
As the business community becomes increasingly internationally driven, more and more legal departments are looking to grow their teams in other countries. While it may be a great benefit to the legal team, the hiring process can be daunting.
Yesterday, four general counsel sat down to talk about best practices in procuring international in-house counsel in “When in Rome: Building an International Legal Department,” an event organized by legal search consultants Major, Lindsey & Africa.
Moderator Michael Sachs, managing director at Major, Lindsey & Africa, kicked off the event by asking the panelists how they know when it’s the right time to hire international counsel. Paul Liebenson, GC of ArcelorMittal, said there’s no magic formula. “It’s really a combination of risk and cost,” he said, pointing especially to the importance of staying in compliance with the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) when companies go into other countries. “When you have to worry about corruption, you need to have someone you can trust.” (read the article)
Debra Cassens Weiss, ABA Journal
A small but growing number of law firms are launching apps that help and possibly impress their clients.
Latham & Watkins released its latest app last week, one that helps clients learn more about overseas anti-bribery laws, the Recorder reports. Previous apps by the firm explain jargon in fields such as finance and capital markets.
Law firm consultant Kent Zimmermann says the apps are getting more sophisticated and can be used to bolster image. “It sends a message to the market that this isn’t your grandfather’s law firm anymore,” he told the Recorder. (read the article)
There are several variations in standards for establishing when a pre-litigation duty to preserve evidence is triggered
Maragaret Koesel, Tracey Turnbull, InsideCounsel
There is no consensus among state or federal courts on the standards that govern preservation and spoliation issues. Yet, whether and when a company has a duty to preserve evidence is among the first questions that come to mind for inside counsel considering spoliation issues. Generally, a company has no duty to preserve evidence before litigation is filed, threatened or reasonably foreseeable unless there is a statutory or regulatory mandate, a contractual obligation, some special circumstance, or an organization has voluntarily assumed an obligation to retain some document, data or thing. That means, unless a company has notice of a probable or pending litigation or a government investigation, it generally has the right to dispose of its own property, including documents, electronically stored information or tangible things, without liability. (read the article)
Don Liu, Jeffrey Carr and Tom Sabatino talked about business knowledge, hiring decisions, potential landmines and more
Alanna Byrne, InsideCounsel
A panel of top general counsel kicked off Day Two of InsideCounsel’s SuperConference by providing insight and advice for aspiring and current GCs in a session entitled “Top Challenges Fortune 500 General Counsel Face.”
One of the major challenges, panelists said, is the perception that in-house lawyers can’t also be businesspeople. “I don’t think it’s an either/or,” said Thomas Sabatino, executive vice president, general counsel and corporate secretary of Walgreens. “I think that’s a false dichotomy.” (read the article)
It’s important to see change as a process, not an event
Julie Beck, InsideCounsel
Change is inevitable, so everyone says, and we should just learn to embrace it. But that can be easier said than done, as speakers at SuperConference Day Two session “Embracing Change Within Your Legal Department” noted.
“We’re all supposed to like change and it is often exciting … but actually implementing change in any organization, especially a legal department, is challenging,” says Lee Cheng, chief legal officer and senior vice president at NewEgg.com. (read the article)
Fred Krebs, In-house Access
Being valuable is like being a lady. If you have to tell people you are, you aren’t. – Margaret Thatcher
In-house counsel must be focused on providing value in today’s corporate legal environment. Failure to do so likely will have adverse consequences for your career. So, I offer these 10 “rules” to help you prove your value in the corporate setting:*
1. The client defines value, not the lawyer. You must align with the client expectations or educate the client to modify the expectations; otherwise, your efforts to prove value likely will fall short. Jeff Carr (general counsel, FMC Technologies), a frequent speaker on this topic, offers an interesting perspective to this rule: “What my boss finds interesting, I find fascinating!” (read the post)