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If you choose a firm to handle a large portfolio of work, consider immersion training at the start

You can read a full account of the arrangements between Levi Strauss and two firms it selected to handle large swathes of its work on a fixed fee (Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe for corporate and commercial work and Kilpatrick Townsend for IP work). The article in the ACC Docket, July/Aug. 2011 at 77, explains the background and current workings of the global deals (See my post of Nov. 25, 2009: Levi Strauss and almost-complete convergence.).

Of particular interest and the topic of this post is that Levi Strauss started the program with a “big swoop” of training. In each of three global regions, the law department invited “all firm and department lawyers working on matters that would be covered by the relationships” to participate in a full-day session. Led by in-house lawyers, the sessions were as practical and open as possible so that the two law firms could come up to speed as quickly as possible and know their colleagues inside the company. This would be a good step for all law departments that start a major partnering arrangement with a law firm.