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Good advice on finding and managing legal advisors across borders

Nancy Anderson, Deputy General Counsel for Microsoft, manages a legal staff of 200, of whom 250 are outside the US. She and her group often need to retain local counsel. A recent piece, Counsel to Counsel, Jan. 2006 at 27, summarized her recommendations and those of David Kleiman, AGC of ATI Technologies, for law departments that need to do the same.

First, “you have to go and establish a personal relationship and visit the law firm.” Second, “bring along the local business head to assist with the evaluation.” Third, “ensure that the firm isn’t also working with competitors, but still holds expertise in the pertinent area.” Fourth, when agreeing on fees, have the local business person get a “local” price as opposed to the “foreign company price.”