The Three Cs that Tom Sager of DuPont looks for in his key law firms

The ubiquitous Tom Sager, general counsel of DuPont, told an Ark conference that he looks for three key attributes in his company’s primary law firms. He looks for “closeness, closure, and collaboration.” Actually, his first term was “loyalty,” but I like the memorability of “Three C’s”.

Closeness (loyalty) means to him much more than the avoidance of ethical conflicts, or even business conflicts. It means turning down opportunities to work with competitors.

Closure means finishing the case or matter promptly, an objective he pointed out is “inimical to the law firm business model.”

As for collaboration, he wants firms to help out other primary firms.

Notable to me is that Sager’s trio does not include the commonly cited ones of knowledge of the law, availability, or cost effectiveness. DuPont presumes these attributes, sees them as necessary but not sufficient, and has moved beyond them.

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