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Consolidation to reduce the number of lawyers (Diamler-Chryler)

The incoming general counsel of Daimler-Chrysler AG, Gerd Becht, intends to scrutinize the approximately 240 lawyers who will report to him from the United States and Germany. According to Corp. Counsel, Vol.14, Jan. 2007 at 49, “after Becht’s consolidation, the number [of lawyers] should drop to 200 by spring 2007.”

If I have done my sums correctly, Becht proposes to shrink the department’s lawyers by almost 20 percent. That will be an impressive feat of streamlining if it does not cause proportionate repercussions elsewhere: outside counsel cost increases or law department productivity decreases.