Once again, are recoveries through litigation to the credit of the legal department?

LyondellBasell’s legal team has “recovered several hundred million dollars on the company’s affirmative claims against third parties,” according to an article in the ACC Docket, Vol. 26, Nov. 2008 at 34.

Some people, who believe litigation is wasteful and unproductive (merely a costly redistribution of wealth), might feel that those recoveries are nothing to crow about. Fundamentally, they mean breakdowns came earlier, when there was a failure to resolve a business dispute before the meat-grinder of litigation. Those critics hold that no company should want its legal department to take too much pride from bludgeoning other companies through discovery, depositions, deadlines, pleadings, sky-high fees, appeals, and public relations. To endure distracting warfare in the Somme of litigation, and proudly raise high an award that may or may not be collectible after much more effort and expense is a Pyrrhic victory.

Some people believe that.

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