Like the Pacific’s Rim of Fire, litigation shakes where the tectonic plates of business shift or collide. Providing two examples, the Economist, Oct. 23, 2010 at 75, describes the titanic legal struggles between the giants of technology over the next generation of platforms, software, and technology. Three pages later the same issue describes the colossal clash between pharmaceutical companies and those who make biosimilars. Hundreds of billions of dollars are at stake. Hundreds of millions of legal fees will erupt on the battlefields.
General counsel may feel that they are at the epicenter of these competitions but actually the fights are also or even principally along many other fronts: public relations, marketing, lobbying, M&A, talent hiring, R&D decisions, pricing, strategic thrusts, and more.
Litigation is but business by other means, to convert an old military expression. The enormous, budget-busting costs of lawsuits shake up law departments and raise law firms to new heights but the generative faults, so to speak, wrench and jolt from the business side, not the legal side. The sideshow of litigation reflects vastly more powerful movements in the mantle of business.