New Developments In Successful Partnering In 2012

Saturday, March 24, 2012 - 08:59

Effective partnering between inside and outside counsel enables corporate law departments to improve the quality and reduce the costs of legal services provided to corporate clients. The best-known source of expert guidance on partnering is the four-volume, 7,000-page treatise and practice guide entitled Successful Partnering Between Inside and Outside Counsel, which is a joint project of Thomson Reuters/West and the Association of Corporate Counsel (ACC). This critically acclaimed treatise contains comprehensive coverage of numerous strategies that a corporate law department can implement to maximize the value of legal work for corporate clients. The treatise provides detailed analyses of the advantages and disadvantages of each of these strategies as well as concrete, practical guidance for implementing each strategy.

The 275 authors of Successful Partnering include the general counsel of more than 80 Fortune 500 companies and the senior partners of many major law firms. The editor-in-chief is Robert L. Haig, a partner at Kelley Drye & Warren LLP in New York.

The 85 chapters in the treatise cover all aspects of corporate law department operations and management, 30 substantive law subjects, and all aspects of the relationships between inside and outside counsel. Each chapter is updated every year. The updates cover all of the important developments during the preceding year in the provision of legal services to corporate clients.

In addition to the annual updates, new chapters are added each year as new topics become increasingly important to corporate counsel. Four new chapters are being published in April 2012 to address rapidly evolving and important areas of corporate legal practice. Two of these new chapters are briefly discussed in this article. 

Regulatory Litigation

This chapter explores how inside and outside counsel can effectively partner in defending civil litigation involving a corporate defendant and a federal, state or foreign regulatory body as plaintiff, and the special challenges and considerations applicable in this type of litigation. U.S. corporations are subject to a broad array of federal, state and local regulation, and internationally active corporations are also subject to foreign or transnational regulation. In a number of important areas, including banking, finance, technology and energy (to name but a few), the regulatory mosaic is evolving at a very rapid pace, as are the associated compliance burdens. In recent decades, litigation has become an increasingly important conduit for governmental bodies to vindicate regulatory imperatives and to make public policy. Involving as it does the attempted assertion of governmental power, regulatory litigation is inherently sensitive, often implicating critical questions regarding the ability of a company to engage in certain business practices or to pursue specific business opportunities and often posing the specter of material financial liability and/or reputational harm. As such, regulatory litigation can be a critical event for a company. This chapter aims to identify common challenges and issues applicable to most regulatory litigation and to offer principle-based advice to help inside and outside counsel partner to address these challenges as effectively as possible. This new chapter was written by Edward P. O'Keefe, general counsel, Bank of America Corporation, Kenneth L. Miller, deputy general counsel, Bank of America Corporation, and David M. Adlerstein, Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz.

Products Liability

The proliferation in recent years of large-scale products liability lawsuits brought by capable, well-funded, and aggressive plaintiffs' lawyers employing creative theories of liability has caused manufacturers of consumer products to experience many a sleepless night. Even in situations in which a plaintiff's claim is ultimately proven to be without merit, a defendant-manufacturer may incur mammoth defense costs, disruption to business, and reputational risks. Given the rapid pace, expanded scope, and potentially ruinous consequences to the company of well-funded, well-publicized products liability litigation, inside lawyers are feeling intense pressure early on to develop and implement anticipatory risk-management strategies – as well as to be knowledgeable, prepared, and creative in responding to new claims. This chapter outlines the steps that inside counsel, working with outside counsel, should consider in order to minimize the possibility of, or the risk posed by, claims of product defect. The chapter then presents a short overview of the theories of liability and elements of claims and defenses commonly asserted in products liability litigation. This new chapter was written by Kenton R. Rose, senior vice president, general counsel, chief administrative officer and secretary, Beam Inc., Donald I. Strauber, Chadbourne & Parke LLP, and Mary T. Yelenick, Chadbourne & Parke LLP.

Other Litigation Chapters

In addition to these new chapters, Successful Partnering Between Inside and Outside Counsel contains separate chapters on many phases of the litigation process (for example, Determination of Litigation Forum; Pleadings and Pre-Trial Motions in Complex Commercial Cases; Class Actions; Discovery and Information Gathering; Expert Witnesses; Trial Preparation and Presentation; Use of Jury Consultants; Settlement; and Appeals). These chapters provide comprehensive discussion of numerous strategies to manage costs and improve outcomes in all phases of corporate litigation.

More Information

More information about Successful Partnering Between Inside and Outside Counsel is available by calling West at (800) 344-5009 or online at store.westlaw.com.