National coordinating counsel handle important tasks. They can help responses to document requests be responded to consistently. They can work with public relations to build a consistent picture for the public of a spate of suits. They can take similar positions in pleadings around the country and can assess the relative contributions of local counsel. They can shift lawyers and paralegals to brushfires as needed.
One of the contributions that I hadn’t realized is that coordinating counsel, alongside the inside lawyer in charge of a family of cases, can pick which ones to fight. With finite resources, law departments can only go to trial on the most likely winners and it helps to have an advisor knowledgeable enough of the range of lawsuits to advise on that call.