What are the turnover rates in law departments when the new general counsel is promoted from within as compared to arrives from without? I have not seen data on departures of direct reports within the first year or 18 months of the new general counsel, but my hypothesis is that significantly more senior lawyers leave departments that bring in an outside general counsel (See my post of May 1, 2005: white knight appointments.). A lawyer elevated from within the department to be general counsel knows his or her former peers and, of course, is known by them. A stranger has no personal ties.
Often the newcomers want to hire people in key positions who are known to them and completely loyal to them (See my post of April 16, 2006: when a general counsel is promoted from within; Aug. 8, 2006: social distance; and March 26, 2005: internal vs. external successors.).