Gina Passarella, Corporate Counsel
After a few years of collecting financial data and applying project management techniques to the legal process, law firms are beginning to dedicate resources to pricing analysis.
Firms are analyzing and strategizing on pricing in order to properly staff matters handled on alternative fee arrangements, provide a client with more cost certainty and, perhaps just as important, ensure the firm is not losing money on a fee arrangement.
“The data tells the story better than people can sometimes,” said Reed Smith Chief Knowledge Officer Thomas Baldwin. (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)
Gina Passarella, Law Technology News
When Pepper Hamilton hired a businessman to serve as its CEO, it set the tone for how the firm would approach the delivery of legal services.
Since Scott Green took over as CEO in February 2012, he has drawn from his days running business operations for WilmerHale in creating two new positions for Pepper Hamilton.
Jason Lichter joined Pepper Hamilton in September from Seyfarth Shaw to serve as the firm’s director of discovery services and litigation support. A month later, Peter Lane Secor left his role as manager of complex client services for WilmerHale to join Pepper Hamilton as the first director of strategic pricing and project management. (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)
Martha Neil, ABA Journal
A death-knell for the era of great expectations for BigLaw firms has been sounded by the bankruptcies of, among others, Howrey; Heller Ehrman; Thelen; and last year’s record-breaking Chapter 11 filing by Dewey & LeBoeuf, experts say.
They predict further law firm failures and a move toward smaller, less cumbersome legal partnerships, as clients look to hire practitioners with the right expertise at the right price rather than simply selecting counsel based on a BigLaw brand name. There are some exceptions–firms such as Cahill Gordon & Reindel and Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan, as well as Cravath Swaine & Moore and Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz are still clear go-to choices for bet-the-farm litigation and corporate matters, respectively. (read the post)