Is the hairline of law departments receding?

Every time I read about a merger, I regret the disappearance of yet another law department. When you put two law departments together, bad things to happen to some good people (See my post of Sept. 13, 2005 on Honeywell and Oracle’s experiences.). Although I believe that larger law departments can afford more consulting assistance, I still worry at the pace at which the heads of legal are going bald.

Spin-offs of companies, however, restore the thinning. When I read in Fortune, April 3, 2006 at 120, that there were 27 corporate spin-offs in 2005, with a total value of $54 billion, after a low of 21 deals worth a paltry $14 billion in 2003, I cheered up. Split ups and spins offs are underway this year at Tyco, Cendant and Wendy’s, so new law departments of some size are also emerging. As a consultant to law departments, I have a stake in law departments and don’t want them to fall out.

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