The huge US law firm, Holland & Knight, has a general counsel, Wall St. J., Aug. 30, 2006 at B2, as do many other major firms. Those GC partners serve as the legal advisor to the firm. With the growth of law firms, we will see more inside outside general counsel.
Some of their services may address issues with law departments, such as malpractice threats, discrimination as to the timekeepers who represent the department, billing irregularities, conflicts of interest, non-competes, marketing, or the terms of a fixed-fee agreement. Hence the corporate GC may fence with a law firm GC.