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“Core/non-core” compared to “critical mission” when general counsel decide what to handle inside

In the thoughtful General Counsel Survey 2009 from the Belgium-based consultants, FrahanBlondé (at 19), the authors discuss how general counsel decide the services their departments should provide as compared to the services external counsel should provide. They distinguish between “core and non-core,” on the one hand, and “core mission” on the other.

We may be talking semantics here, but someone could say that core services are the most common ones needed by the company (See my post of May 23, 2008: core competence with 12 references.). Hamburger and french fries are core.

In contrast, services that most advance the “core mission” of the company could be cutting edge, long-range, and much less frequent (See my post of Dec. 23, 2009: Carillion legal staff focus on four core business units.). Some filet mignon and double-baked potatoes are core mission. The report suggests that the term applies to work that only in-house counsel can do, but I find that hard to follow, since many companies have no in-house counsel and get along just fine with outside counsel.

Whatever the distinction may be between the two concepts, they both drive to the same point: do well what is most important and buy the rest from outside (See my post of March 5, 2008: make-buy with 11 references.).

To purchase a full copy of this excellent report, please contact Antoine Frahan.