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Is the wave from Wilmington ebbing? Challenges to convergence

Allstate Insurance Co. whittled its list of 300-400 law firms nationwide to 13 firms, according to Jack MacKay, assistant general counsel for law administration, in the Chic. Daily Law Bulletin. As Wilmington, Delaware-based DuPont famously reduced its outside counsel, so did Allstate, and the insurance giant planned to have that bakers dozen of firms handle 80 to 90 percent of its external legal work.

The article quotes MacKay as saying that his law department’s clients want the highest quality legal services at the lowest possible cost and in the most responsive manner. “But that’s where the simplicity ends. My view on convergence? Put simply, its complex – and perhaps does not even work. For more on this topic, see my recent article in Legal Times, March 20, 2006 at 42.