A belief often expressed in U.S. law departments holds that lawyers oversees must have higher-ranking titles because when they deal with foreign business executives, the title makes the man, so to speak. Perhaps the diminished actual power of in-house counsel in foreign countries is counterbalanced by more magnificent titles (See my post of Jan. 24, 2006 on how to match lawyer titles to client levels.).
Different titles for the lawyers who have similar responsibilities, it goes without saying, causes internal dissension, even if circumstances such as overseas impressions justify it (See my post of Jan. 27, 2006 about whether to re-examine titles.).