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A captive law firm, but not for an insurance company (Equity Group Investments)

Several years ago, Sam Zell, the billionaire investor, created a captive law firm, Rosenberg & Liebentritt, to serve the legal needs of his affiliate companies, and exclusively their needs. According to InsideCounsel, July 2007 at 70, “the firm wasn’t allowed to do any work for anyone or any entity outside of Sam’s affiliates.” At its high point in 1999 the law firm had 35 lawyers. I heard about an idea along these lines a decade ago, when PacTel considered spinning off its law department. And many insurance companies have captive law firms. But this situation was different.

Zell disbanded it that year after spinning off much of his real estate portfolio yet kept employed four lawyers as his law department.