Several years ago, a very large law department appointed one of its lawyers to serve as the conflicts maven. Enough issues arose with firms seeking waivers or encountering potential conflicts that the general counsel thought it best to concentrate the department’s learning and to coordinate its responses. Not that the lawyer untangled knots full time, but when an interpretation or decision was called for on a law firm potentially being crossways to the company, that lawyer, the conflicts SME, decided what to do (See my post of April 20, 2008: conflicts of interest with 24 references.).
During the 30 months since my first metapost on law firm conflicts of interest, another metapost has coalesced (See my post of Sept. 7, 2008: alternative fee arrangements and conflicts; Jan. 11, 2009: companies retain plaintiff’s counsel to defend them; Feb. 18, 2009: blanket waivers and conflicts policies; Feb. 26, 2009: banks agree among themselves to lighten conflicts rules; April 25, 2009: ACC Value Challenge and reciprocal commitments; June 4, 2009: secondments and conflicts of interest; Sept. 9, 2009: ethical conflicts compared; April 16, 2010: loyalty defined by Tom Sager; April 21, 2010: agency theory; and Sept. 9, 2010: Sony Ericsson’s deliberate efforts to conflict firms out.).