GCs Weigh in on Strategies for Successful Partnering with Outside Counsel

Sunday, January 25, 2015 - 10:57


Disaster preparedness, streamlining litigation and labor & employment outside the U.S.


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 five-volume, 8,000-page treatise and practice guide entitled Successful Partnering Between Inside and Outside Counsel, which is a joint project of Thomson Reuters 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. Three new chapters were published in 2014 to address rapidly evolving and important areas of corporate legal practice. These new chapters are briefly discussed in this article. 

Disaster Preparedness

Earthquakes, shootings in the workplace and regional power outages are just some of the major disruptions encountered by global businesses. Potential threats exist within any organization and sometimes flow from acts of nature. This chapter provides best practices for inside and outside counsel to work together on strategies for anticipating, analyzing and preparing for disasters. The authors discuss the top mistakes that companies make in disaster planning; explain the differences among emergencies, disasters, and crises; describe the categories of disasters, including natural disasters, disasters involving internal factors, and externally caused disasters; and explore the measuring, managing and monitoring of corporate risk that is known as Enterprise Risk Management (ERM). In addition, the authors discuss disaster mitigation and prevention; disaster recovery and business continuity plans; disaster preparedness for information technology, including the Sarbanes Oxley Act of 2002, backups, storage off-site and on “the cloud,” geo-diversity, and cybersecurity; and post-disaster issues, including special tax laws and corporate criminal liability. This chapter was written by A. Verona Dorch, vice president, general counsel, chief compliance officer and corporate secretary, Harsco Corporation; Sherri L. Dahl, Roetzel & Andress; and Stefanie M. Holland, regional lead counsel for North America, Harsco Corporation.

Labor and Employment Law Issues When Doing Business Outside the United States

This chapter addresses how in-house and outside counsel can work together effectively to manage and resolve the unique issues presented by labor and employment law outside the United States. As this is an area affected greatly by variations in business organization and culture, the chapter touches on the different models of management (decentralized, centralized and hybrid) and how they impact the relationship between in-house and outside counsel and the effective selection of outside counsel. The authors also cover the major types of issues counsel will encounter in this broad arena of cross-border law (for example, termination of employees, works councils, collective dismissals, “transfers of undertaking” which move work from one entity to another, confidentiality agreements and post-employment restrictive covenants, and global mobility issues) and provide recommendations on how in-house and outside counsel can efficiently interact with respect to each type of issue. This chapter was written by Douglas M. Lankler, executive vice president and general counsel, Pfizer, Inc., and John L. Sander, Jackson Lewis LLP.

Expediting and Streamlining Litigation

This chapter explores how inside and outside counsel can work together to most efficiently and effectively resolve litigation. The chapter emphasizes the importance of early and significant communication between lawyer and client to form a common understanding of the legal and factual intricacies involved in the litigation, in addition to ongoing efforts to secure and act upon client input as the matter progresses. The authors also analyze the role of personnel and staffing decisions, case evaluation and focusing on core issues in the effort to expedite and streamline the process. In addition, the authors consider some of the more important procedural aspects of litigation and their impact on efficiency. For example, the authors recommend that at the outset of a litigation, counsel should enter into agreements with opposing counsel regarding procedural and discovery issues such as scheduling order deadlines, protective orders, document production and depositions. This chapter was written by Heather A. Humphrey, general counsel and senior vice president - Human Resources, Great Plains Energy Incorporated; James M. Humphrey IV, Polsinelli PC; and Robert V. Spake, Jr., Polsinelli PC.

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 Thomson Reuters at 1-800-344-5009 or online at legalsolutions.thomsonreuters.com.