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Consider this response if a law firm recommends costly remedial steps (that they would do)

You have retained a law firm to investigate possible wrong-doing in your company. The firm does its work, submits its report and, not surprisingly, recommends that you retain them further to take care of some of the (costly) recommendations. For example, you had a potential FCPA violation and one of the firm’s recommendations is that it review and assess all your contracts with foreign purchasers that are worth more than $25,000 – estimated fees of $2.3 million.

What if you had said to the firm before they submitted their recommendations, “We will consider your recommendations and for those we agree to implement we will retain your biggest competitor.”

Hmmmm. Is there a chance that the firm would temper its recommendations to bring them more in line with what is truly needed than to lavishly urge services for their own account? This Solomonic method separates the analysis and conclusions from potential, self-serving financial gain. A similar check and balance happens with IT projects: the consultants that recommend changes are sometimes barred from the implementation work.