Advisory panel of key outside counsel partners – Baxter’s Litigation Advisory Board

Two years ago, Baxter Healthcare described how it had drawn on its preferred provider firms to form a panel of commercial litigation experts – a Litigation Advisory Board (Lit. Mgt., Spring 2005 at 10). The panel was to deal exclusively with complex U.S. commercial litigation; could be summoned by any Baxter in-houser; and would be staffed from the preferred providers with lawyers who were not already directly involved with Baxter’s legal work.

Good idea, yes? According to the article, the LAB got underway in 2001 and its sessions added much insight. Sometimes clients participate. According to Marla Persky, a senior lawyer with Baxter, “the cost of conducting a LAB is minimal compared with the delivered benefit.” This was an admirable initiative. Law departments could create advisory panels in almost any area of law, and draw on the collective wisdom of its firms in a creative, opportunistic way.

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