Inside/outside counsel relationship

On Monday, Viewabill will be presenting a two-hour webinar session on the topic of improving the attorney-client relationship through innovation. I first became familiar with Viewabill during the P3 conference, when panelists during one of the sessions were discussing its value. 

Thanks to my coverage of P3, I was able to get a heads up on Monday’s webinar, which will bring together inside and outside counsel to discuss some meaty issues. I’ll be covering the sessions in more detail in some recaps next week, but I was able to snag interviews with a few of the panelists in advance of the webinar, which I’ll be sharing with you here. 

First up is D. Casey Flaherty, Corporate Counsel for Kia Motors America. Inc. and founder and developer behind the Legal Tech Audit (LTA), who was kind enough to speak with me this morning. From his LinkedIn profile: 

Based on what he witnessed in BigLaw, Casey developed a Legal Technology Audit that he administers to his outside counsel. In conjunction with Suffolk University Law School’s Institute on Law Practice Technology & Innovation and a group of advisers from across the legal spectrum, Casey’s audit has been automated. Registrations are open (http://www.legaltechaudit.com/). The LTA is not associated with Kia Motors America."


Continue Reading What Really Matters to Purchasers of Legal Service? An Interview with General Counsel, Casey Flaherty

For our third installment of our General Counsel Corner, we’ve brought in an In-house Counsel at a leading independent fiduciary services business. 

Our question to him was: 

What is your preference for how a lawyer tries to learn more about you and your business?"

He told us, "Good question. I’d say it’s like any client relationship

On Friday morning, LMA delegates gathered to hear the annual general counsel panel, "U.S. General Counsel Discuss Global Needs for Outside Counsel: Is Your Firm on Their Short List?" produced by Inside Counsel and Lloyd Johnson.

The program description read: 

This panel of general counsel will discuss high priority needs, challenges and concerns related to managing a large law department.  In addition, the panel will discuss the complexities…related to managing a remote professional staff who work outside the United States. Topics covered will include: 

  • How law firms can help meet the needs of today’s law department challenges; 
  • What today’s law department leaders see as potential future challenges
  • How firms’ managing partners may engage in shared insight discussions with law department leader/counterparts
  • How is value received for fees paid assessed by the corporations today? 
  • What is most useful about a year-end review, aka client feedback meeting?
  • Last call: number one need on the law department side: from the relationship standpoint? From the substantive legal needs standpoint?"


Continue Reading US General Counsel: Global Needs for Outside Counsel

I’m very excited to be kicking off our newest feature today on Zen – the General Counsel Corner! 

Throughout my career, I’ve seen a number of in-house counsel presentations and articles, many of which continue to have the same themes with respect to the inside/outside counsel relationship. It seems that many law firms may still not understand what their clients and potential clients really need and want. To continue to draw attention to those things that matter most to GCs, I’ll be featuring in-house counsel here on the blog in our "General Counsel Corner." Periodically, I’ll be sharing with you a short interview that I’ve done with a GC, in which he or she will answer one key question. 


Continue Reading General Counsel Corner: Factors in Hiring Outside Counsel

During the ILN’s 2010 Regional Meeting of the Americas in Houston, Texas last week, we were treated to a presentation by our host firm’s managing partner, Martin Beirne of Beirne Maynard & Parsons, and Jeff Carr, Senior Vice President, General Counsel, and Secretary of FMC Technologies.  Jeff’s presentation focused on "Getting Out of the Box in Counsel Engagement and Service Delivery – the Value Challenge." 

Beirne introduced Carr, saying that he’s the author of the Associate of Corporate Counsel’s Value Challenge – something that he’s been talking about for fifteen years.  Carr said that FMC Technologies is a 9 year old company, with about 120 years of history, and is one of those that touches people’s lives in many ways.  

Carr jumped right into talking about his experience as a general counsel, saying that his legal spend is less today than it was in 2001, in a world where firms’ rates go up 10% a year.  He added that FMC Technologies pays, on average, 107% of their invoices to law firms – he would later explain how and why this happens.

How is it possible to have a smaller legal spend? Carr said companies need to change how they buy what they buy, how they pay for it, and go from being reactive lawyers to being proactive lawyers.  What drives him? If he can save his company $1 million, that equates to a half a cent of share earnings.  That’s what drives companies.

He said that his legal team’s mission statement says that they’re not lawyers – they’re there to help achieve business goals.  Only one person who is currently on his team was with him in 2001 because the others either didn’t want to move when they changed their headquarters to Houston, or they didn’t want to practice law the way that his team does.  They were not willing to embrace change and the discipline that they require to be successful lawyers at FMC Technologies.


Continue Reading ILN Conference Re-Cap: Getting Out of the Box in Counsel Engagement and Service Delivery – the Value Challenge

On Wednesday, May 12th, I was fortunate enough to attend a couple of sessions at American Lawyer Media’s Law Firm Marketing and Business Development Leadership Forum. The ILN was a marketing partner for the event, and I spoke on a panel called "Going, Going…Global? The Worldwide Marketing for Legal Services." Unfortunately, I have not yet mastered the art of tweeting from a panel I’m participating in (and so don’t have comprehensive notes for a re-cap), but the first session of the morning on the changing nature of in-house and outside counsel relationships was full of great takeaways for law firms and their marketing departments.  If you’re interested in the full list of tweets from the conference, you can check out the #LCMO hashtag transcript.

On the panel were:


Continue Reading Re-cap of ALM’s Law Firm CMO Forum: Inside/Outside Counsel Relationship