A role you do not want your relationship partner to assume: hub of the wheel

A general counsel on a recent panel criticized what he called a “centralized attorney structure,” where all communication must go through the relationship partner of the law firm. That hub structure is especially inefficient if the partner is not personally handling a fair portion of the legal work.

As this situation was described in the Legal Intelligencer, Oct. 3, 2008 (by Zack Needles), I would completely agree. A relationship partner’s raison d’être is to facilitate legal services provided a client, not clog them and impose costs (See my post of July 26, 2008: relationship partners with 8 references.). The panel general counsel, and all in-house counsel, want direct contact with the attorneys working on their matters.

Ironically, outside counsel would prefer to work directly with business executives, without the intercession of the inside lawyers.

We welcome comments

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *