Marriott, convergence, and equal amounts of work sent to each of ten firms

About 1995, Marriott International shrank its “bloated legal Rolodex” from well over 200 law firms to the ten firms that a decade later handle 90 percent of the company’s external counsel work. Such longevity and stability of key firms astounds me; it is much to the credit of law department and its key law firms.

Corporate Counsel provided these facts (Aug. 19, 2005) and added a curious additional fact. The law department’s person who “manages in-house/law firm relations” – that position, too, being atself a second unusual feature of the department – says that “she tries to send the same amount of work to each firm.” If this means that each firm receives approximately $2 million a year from Marriott (one-tenth of the $20 million a year Marriott spends on outside counsel) this third oddity even more startles me. Surely the firms are not that fungible!

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