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In-House Counsel

Law Department Management Law Department Management

Comments on every aspect of how best to manage a law department, including how to manage outside counsel. Topics of interest to general counsel and other in-house lawyers who manage legal functions.
By Rees Morrison

Post Frequency: 23.3/day

Last Entry: July 03, 2012 at 08:43:56

Recent Entries: 3985

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Statistics compilation débuts in Release 2.0 of GC Metrics benchmarks, along with data 500+ companies ? why don?t you join in?

Posted on July 03, 2012
Release 2.0 of the General Counsel Metrics global benchmark survey will go out in early August. It looks set to have more than 500 participating companies, on the way to a thousand this year. A benefit to be introduced with...


A small attempt to stimulate collective thinking on law department operations

Posted on July 02, 2012
I tried something for the first time. I prepared a decent draft of an article to be published and circulated it for comments to about a half dozen people whose thoughts I would value. Academics do that all the time...


A benchmark metric worth fighting for: lawyers per army combatants

Posted on July 02, 2012
During the Iraqi ?surge,? the ?Army had one lawyer or paralegal for every 240 combatants, and these legal professionals have ever more say over battlefield decisions. That is leaving aside the judge advocates general (or JAGs), who offer guidance on....


Reflections prompted by publicity regarding the ACC?s 2011 Census Report

Posted on July 02, 2012
The Association of Corporate counsel (ACC) collected data in the spring of 2011 and recently made it available in its 2011 Census Report. Based only on promotional material available on ACC's website, here are my initial thoughts. http://www.acc.com/legalresources/resource...


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Wisdom about law departments and metrics from a GC serving as an interim CEO

Posted on July 02, 2012
Tom Kilroy, the General Counsel of a UK company has another role: ?For the past three months, I've occupied a line management rather than a legal role, as acting Chief Executive Officer of a publicly listed company with 4,200 employees,...


If there are something like 80,000 publicly traded companies in the world, how many privately held companies with law departments might there be?

Posted on July 02, 2012
A Google search for ?list of US publicly traded companies? turned up a link that referred to a Bloomberg directory with ?over 33,000 companies.? The web site of Credit Risk Monitors claims to identify 20,899 public companies in the United...


Rates and cost per hour comparisons between inside lawyers and lawyers at law firms in the United States

Posted on June 28, 2012
This blog has often referred to the fully loaded cost per hour of corporate attorneys. It has also from post to post provided data on the effective hourly rate of law-firm partners and associates. More recent data came as to...


Two ?proven? profitability techniques of law firms that law departments should refuse

Posted on June 28, 2012
An article in Law Practice, July/August 2012 at 40, describes "15 proven profitability techniques" for today's law firms. Two of them raised my eyebrows and should do the same for general counsel. Under the technique "unbundle operating costs from case...


Five categories for how your law firms might be rating you

Posted on June 28, 2012
In Law Practice, July/August 2012 at 14, a law firm consultant describes a ?client scorecard.? With it, your law firms might rate you on five categories: "level of cooperation?; ?how enjoyable your work is?; how profitable your work is; your...


Somewhat misleading data about law departments and e-billing: leading and laggard countries

Posted on June 27, 2012
A former executive of two matter management and legal e-billing companies, Jeff Hodge recently wrote a white paper for Bridgeway, one of the leading providers of both kinds of software. Entitled Legal Spend Management: An International Perspective, it discusses at...


Rees Morrison?s Morsels #168: the long and the short of it (in brevia veritas)

Posted on June 27, 2012
Functions, linear and otherwise. A function of some variable is linear if the plot of the function creates a straight line when you plug in different values for the variable. Think of X=3Y. If you plug in different numbers for...


Useful clarification of invoice formats under the various e-billing standards

Posted on June 27, 2012
A white paper written by Jeff Hodge for Bridgeway, entitled Legal Spend Management: An International Perspective, discusses at page 7 differences between the various invoice formats for legal e-billing. It explains the three formats currently available under LEDES, the Legal...


Budget-busting when a company pays the defense costs of a director or officer

Posted on June 27, 2012
The legal fees paid by Goldman Sachs in defense of a former board member were almost three-quarters of $30 million; Procter & Gamble picked up the balance. From the same article in the NY Times, June 19, 2012, at B1,...


Metrics on prevalence among law departments of refusal to pay for newbies out of law school

Posted on June 25, 2012
A piece in Met. Corp. Counsel, June 2012 at 16, cites a survey published in December of 2011 by the New Jersey Law Journal. The sentence with the citation says that ?54% of law firms have clients who will not...


Introverts compared to extroverts -- general counsel as leaders and their personality styles

Posted on June 25, 2012
The Atlantic, July/Aug. 2012 at 68, has a piece on the leadership styles of introverts and extroverts. According to some recent research, "introverted leaders typically deliver better outcomes than extroverts, because they're more likely to let proactive employees run with...


An annual strategic planning process that involves a law department?s staff

Posted on June 25, 2012
Kenneth Fredeen, the General Counsel of Deloitte Canada, mentions in ACC Docket, June 2012 at 114, that he uses strategic planning as a management tool. In fact, "His staff participates in the exercise annually." I have cast doubt on the...


State-owned enterprises that have law departments probably differ from private-enterprises in their benchmark metrics

Posted on June 24, 2012
Many of the largest companies in the world are owned in whole or part by a government. In Italy, for example, the government owns substantial stakes in Sace, an insurance group; Simest, a financial institution; Fintecna, a service provider; Eni,...


Don?t bother with formal acknowledgements by law firms that you have retained them

Posted on June 24, 2012
A presentation by the President of doeLEGAL, Tom Russo, addressed how to design what he calls litigation spend architecture. On a slide having to do with how to start a matter you have assigned to outside counsel, Russo recommends, ?Within...


Web-based offering that prepares litigation decision trees

Posted on June 24, 2012
A former general counsel, John DeGroote, has created Resolution Tree. An online service, it allows law departments to prepare litigation trees as needed for a fixed cost. An ad in Alternatives, March 2012 at 80, brought this to my attention....


Another software package to track diverse attorneys who work on your adversarial matters

Posted on June 24, 2012
CPR, the International Institute for Conflict Prevention and Resolution, is a non-profit initiative of general counsel, law firms and legal academics "whose mission it is to install alternative dispute resolution (ADR) into the main stream of legal practice...


More progress toward the empirical turn for law department management

Posted on June 24, 2012
Having a big dog in the fight, as a compiler of law department benchmarks on staffing and spending, it?s gratifying to find others who struggle against the darkness that devalues management metrics. As more data about processes and outcomes in...


Contract drafting and review tool made available by the Association of Corporate Counsel

Posted on June 20, 2012
The Association of Corporate Counsel (ACC) has made available a contract-drafting tool with four primary features. As described more fully by Robert Ambrogi in LTN Law Tech. News, June 2012 at 36, Contract Advisor has model contracts, with a group...


A clever and funny send-up of law departments and their reviews of marketing material

Posted on June 20, 2012
On the last page of NJBiz?s special issue, General Counsel of the Year Awards (2012), Heartland Payment Systems placed an ad honoring Charles Kallenbach, its General Counsel. At the top, the full-page ad says ?Congratulations to Charles Kallenbach for receiving...


Industry is the dominant basis for insights from staffing and spending benchmarks

Posted on June 20, 2012
General Counsel Metrics will offer Industry Analyses starting after the second release of its global benchmark survey in July. Each of the 25 Industry Analyses available offers deeper insights than the no-cost, 60-page Standard Report. I strongly believe that general...


Four reasons why the oft-predicted transformation of the legal industry post-2008 has not materialized

Posted on June 20, 2012
It is always easier to predict exciting revolutions, sturm und drang, a brave new world, such as in the relations between law departments and the law firms they retain. Seers get invited to conferences, enjoy their names in headlines, relish...


Columbia Law School and its successful effort to place graduates in legal departments

Posted on June 13, 2012
My law school alma mater, Columbia (JD ?78), took steps after the 2008 crash to help its graduates find jobs. According to the Col. Law School Mag., Spring 2012 at 2, the Dean of the Law School ?reached out to...


The cost per hour of meetings in law departments, and related comments

Posted on June 13, 2012
An article that criticizes the rigidity and wastefulness of forced hourlong sit-down meetings appears in Bloomberg BusinessWeek, June 11, 2012 at 51. Almost by definition, one hour allows too much time for the issue at hand or it cuts off...


A method that would shed light on the relative cost of lawyers across different countries

Posted on June 13, 2012
Inspired by an article in the Economist, June 9, 2012 at 83, on using McDonalds Big Macs to compare international productivity trends and improve on purchase power parity (PPP), I imagined a counterpart for legal services rendered to corporations. Ten...


Little known about relationship between publicly disclosed settlements and those that are confidential

Posted on June 13, 2012
The settlements that reach the press, those covered by 8K filings or news releases, may well account for the largest part of corporate settlements paid (See my post of April 15, 2007: confidentiality of settlement amounts.). I presume this to...


Specialized survey on document management for intellectual property

Posted on June 13, 2012
A provider of SaaS-based IP management technology, First To File®, launched this month an IP Document Management Survey to gather information from corporations and IP law firms on this genre of software. One question listed eight reasons why a law...


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