A huge company and three drastic convergences to single firms (Tyco)

Tyco, a $42 billion conglomerate, has dramatically reduced the number of law firms serving it in three major areas. According to Of Counsel, Vol. 26, April 2007 at 1, “Tyco selected Kansas City’s Shook, Hardy & Bacon to handle all of its product-liability legal work and Atlanta-based Ogletree, Deakins, Nash, Smoak & Stewart for its labor and employment matters.” Ogletree replaced 33 law firms in the fall of 2004 (at 21).

As if those two massive efforts to combine all work of a certain kind with a single firm were not enough, most recently, Tyco International pared the 250-some law firms that has retained for its operations in 31 countries in Europe, the Middle East, and Africa to a single firm: the UK’s Eversheds. Fueling the project that led to that firm’s selection were concerns about global compliance, consistency in quality and standards, and savings from “fewer fines, settlements, and other costs.” The article points out that Eversheds offers Tyco a global reach, an extensive training program for its attorneys, a “legal help line,” and an extranet.

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