Friday, November 21, 2008

Globalization of Law Practice - II

Posted by Jeff Lipshaw

Trevor Faure now speaking; he's the European GC for Tyco.  He's a British barrister but not wearing his wig and gown.

Like most in-house lawyers in my experience, me included, he's taking a business approach that may or may not resonate with the audience here:  law is a commodity that is bought and sold around the world all in the pursuit of return on invested capital that may come from anywhere in the world.  Ivy covered walls, whether in the Inns of Court or the HLS (actually there's no ivy here), are NOT the driver of globalized big law.

He's showing an organizational chart that puts law as one small part of operating a business.  Yup.  He's also showing a three-legged stool as it were of legal coverage versus how much it costs to have it netted against how much it costs not to have it.  Consistent with my own experience:  e.g. if it is a contract for less than $X, and it is terminable in less than a year, YOYO (you're on your own).

Really good model of the problem of balancing (or optimizing) coverage versus head count versus consequence.  He's using a lot of business management tools, polarity matrices, Six Sigma gap analysis, things about which our young lawyers, not to mention many long time big law partners, have no clue.

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