A “swap” of knowledge between a law department and its outside counsel

The “European Briefings” supplement to the ACC Docket, Dec. 2011, at 12, describes how Procter & Gamble’s EMEA law department, 120 lawyers strong in two dozen locations, coped with regulations by the European Commission’s of chemical substances. The department worked closely with Allen & Overy on compliance with REACH, including swapping knowledge. As described, “Given the expertise of each, the legal department and the law firm implemented practices to ‘swap’ various legal and regulatory information and knowledge without charging a fee.”

This is a wonderful idea! In-house lawyers build up deep knowledge in specialized areas of law and practice. That experience has value to a law firm that represents other clients regarding that area. A mutual exchange of documents, checklists, contact names, case studies and other material can help both sides – law departments to contain costs and law firms to expand their knowledge and marketing.

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