Publisher's Note January 2016

Tuesday, January 5, 2016 - 12:59

Happy New Year from all of us at Metropolitan Corporate Counsel.

We are excited to present the January issue, which includes our trademark mix of insight and intelligence from leading law firms, academics, consultants and service providers, all tailored to the unique needs of corporate law departments in the U.S. and around the world.

This month, our sector focus is on energy and utilities, an area undergoing profound changes. Our cover piece is an in-depth interview with Suedeen Kelly of Akin Gump, a veteran energy lawyer of uncommon experience who had a ringside seat for the recent transformation of FERC from toothless overseer to fierce enforcer (p. 21). 

For this issue, we also interviewed Christie Grymes Thompson of Kelly Drye, who shared her experience and strategies for navigating the intensifying regulatory scrutiny of your company’s marketing efforts (p.12). David B. Cochran and Anthony M. Insogna of Jones Day flesh out how the American Invents Act and the institution of the Patent Trial Appeal Board have drastically changed how companies manage their IP strategies (p. 6).

We also have a cluster of pieces, beginning on p. 27, focused on cybersecurity and data protection – the hottest of all the hot topics on the GC agenda in 2016. Don’t miss these important contributions from AlixPartners, BakerHostetler and UBIC.

Fragomen, best known for its worldwide leadership in corporate immigration, offers insights into strategies for companies moving workers across borders in Canada, the U.S. and elsewhere (pp.14 and 19). Joe West, who recently left the Minority Corporate Counsel Association to join Duane Morris as a litigation partner, shares his insights on diversity and inclusion efforts across in-house and outside counsel (p. 37).

This issue also has several insightful contributions related to corporate directors. Our interview with NACD’s Robyn Bew discusses the continued empowerment of the “activist” director (p. 32); Akin Gump offers the 2016 version of its annual “Top 10 Topics for Directors” (summarized on p. 33); and Weil announces a new book by Paul Ferrillo, “Navigating the Cyber-security Storm: A Guide for Directors and Officers” (p. 35). 

Our In-House Ops section, which we launched early last year, continues to go behind the Corporate Law Department with useful information, beginning on p. 37, from contributors such as Altman Weil, EisnerAmper, Dykema and more. In our monthly Civil Justice Playbook (p. 45), we talk to leaders at the Denver-based Institute for the Advancement of the American Legal System about their Rule One Initiative and its focus on the cultural shifts required to make civil justice reform a reality in the U.S. You will also enjoy this month’s Backstory (p. ___), which takes scores of predictions for the legal profession in 2016 and cooks up a savory soothsayer stew. 

We hope you enjoy the issue. Please let us know what you think and what we can do to better serve you in the year ahead.