Law departments of corporate spin-offs often need to add specialist lawyers

Spectra Energy Corp., a huge natural gas transmission company, recently spun off from Duke Power. When that happened, Spectra’s legal team had 19 attorneys and 12 support staff in five offices throughout the U.S. and Canada. As a result of no longer being able to call on Duke Power’s corporate legal resources, such as for securities and environmental advice perhaps, the new department added three more attorneys.

Based on these numbers, as reported in Exec. Legal Advisor, Jan./Feb. 2008 at 31, the separation of that business unit from the mother-ship necessitated a 16 percent increase in lawyer headcount. It would not surprise me to see similar increases in the law departments of other spin-off companies (See my post of April 9, 2006: several spin offs listed.).

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