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Law department management is flat – good practices transcend country borders

Someone visited this blog recently after a Google search of the term “law department best practices – Canada.” I smiled at the assumption that Canadian law departments might have unique management hurdles or solutions. Laws, judicial institutions, and the legal industry vary enormously country by country, but management goals of general counsel remain basically the same. Their techniques to select and instruct counsel, motivate staff, adopt technology, and please clients translate easily into every language and need no passport. Perhaps 95 percent of what I cover on this blog, even though much of it emanates from US-based departments, applies to legal departments worldwide, even those in Canada.

That said, I have written frequently about non-US law departments. Some of my posts step back and look at law departments of an entire region (See my post of June 15, 2005: Asian compensation levels; July 25, 2005: US vs European departments; and April 18, 2005: European move toward risk management.).

Other posts have been on Europe generally (See my post of April 18, 2005: European general counsel becoming more strategic; May 14, 2005: formal complaint mechanisms; Sept. 5, 2005: costs per hour; Oct. 29, 2005: some benchmarks; Oct. 31, 2005: expectations of outside counsel; Feb. 12, 2006: employment litigation; and June 15, 2005: compensation for general counsel).

Law departments from at least 15 countries are represented on this blog (See my post of July 4, 2006: Australia; June 30, 2006: Australian metrics; June 16, 2006: Australia; June 30, 2006: Australia; Sept. 16, 2008: InBev of Belgium; May 10, 2006: Canada; June 13, 2006: Haier in China; July 30, 2006: size and spend of China law departments’ size; Oct. 19, 2005 #2: in-house lawyers in China; Aug. 27, 2005: double reporting lines of lawyers at Nokia in Finland; Aug. 26, 2006: large law departments in France; May 13, 2007: French law departments; Jan. 14, 2007: Daimler-Chrysler and Germany; June 16, 2006: the Bank of Ireland; March 10, 2005: Kenya; May 30, 2005: Shell Malaysia; Nov. 24, 2008: Netherlands and interim lawyers *3; March 30, 2006: in-house lawyers in New Zealand; July 14, 2006: contract handling in Poland; Dec. 11, 2007: Russia’s Sistema; Nov. 13, 2005 and diversity requirements in South Africa; April 12, 2006: UK heads of legal; and April 13, 2006: in-house UK lawyers.).