Business unit lawyers and corporate legal groups – numbers and reporting (Qualcomm)

The 95 lawyers of Qualcomm consist of about 30 who “work in a half-dozen teams aligned with Qualcomm’s business units,” as described in Nat. L.J., July 17, 2006 at 8. For “many of those teams” the top lawyer reports to the head of the business unit. The other two thirds of the lawyers report to the general counsel and specialized, such as in litigation, complex transactions, and securities (See my posts of July 30, 2005 on dual reporting of specialist lawyers; July 31, 2005 on co-locating them with business unit lawyers; and Oct. 8, 2005 on keeping litigators separate from business unit lawyers.).

The decentralized reporting at Qualcomm stands out, but generally, one or more lawyers support a business line (See my posts of Dec. 21, 2005 on Ascential’s organization; July 31, 2005 on specialist lawyers within business unit groups; and March 22, 2006 on silos.) while the remaining lawyers uphold a functional specialty, such as bankruptcy, environmental or employment.

Other reporting structures have been discussed (See my posts of May 14, 2006 on Intuit and practice groups; and Feb. 15, 2006 on regions.).

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