Shut down your legal department and decamp to a law firm?

The peripatetic Richard Susskind keynoted the recent DataCert conference, Generals of the Revolution. During his remarks he said that Thames Water had outsourced its entire legal department this year to the UK firm Berwin Leighton Paisner (BLP). The law firm agreed to provide the utility with all its legal services for a fixed annual fee.

Shades of Continental Bank in 1990 closing down its 63-lawyer department and signing on with Mayer Brown!

Based on its website, the law firm has crafted a partial arrangement with another client. Emboldened by its experience with Thames Water, “BLP has taken over on an exclusive basis the management of all employment law services to Colt, Europe’s leading information delivery platform.” General counsel would do well to explore arrangements like this with the law firms they trust.

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