Insights into some legal department-related procurement practices at EBay

A panelist from EBay, speaking at the InsideCounsel SuperConference, mentioned four specifics about the practices followed by the procurement group. They are to be involved with any project that expects to cost more than $1 million or any vendor who is likely to receive more than $1 million during a year. Wouldn’t that snare retentions of law firms in many acquisitions, all major litigations, and even some licensing or transactional deals?

Second, everyone in the company who wants a contract executed must complete and submit a Contract Request Form. The law department of EBay monitors the flow of those Forms and I believe handles each one in some fashion.

Third, she said that Procurement is underway with risk-ranking suppliers. That initiave is unlikely to implicate law firms, I suppose, but there may be broader definitions of risks than I am taking into account.

Fourth, members from Procurement and from the Law Department have met to iron out their respective roles and responsibilities. They have even brought in an operational excellence person to prepare process maps that will help clarify the boundaries and expectations.

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