DuPont’s $100 MM plus recoveries: law department as profit center

Increasing recoveries from an average of about $50 million per year to $108 million in 2004, DuPont’s law department had recovered over $100 million by the fall of 2005 (Inside Litigation, Winter 2006 at 8).

The department oversaw 88 recovery matters in 2004, with intellectual property (30 matters) and insurance (2 matters) accounting for 80 percent of the recovered amounts. Mostly the in-house lawyers handle these recovery efforts, except for class actions where the company has opted out. Those matters are handled by law firms. (See my posts of Nov. 28, 2005 about IP as a profit center and Oct. 19, 2005 on other IP ideas.)

All law departments from time to time obtain recoveries; the twist here is DuPont’s deliberate campaign to identify, pursue and track them.

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