Someday we may find that better run companies – whatever that means and however that is measured – tend to have better run law departments – at least as evidenced by their comparative benchmarks. Among mature companies competing in mature industries, it seems likely that their well-honed HR practices, technology infrastructures, management training and disciplines, and physical facilities percolate through to the benefit of the legal team. Good companies to that degree are more likely to have good legal teams.
Much like successful professionals give too little credit to their firm, general counsel who are lauded for their management prowess may to a considerable degree be beneficiaries of the surrounding, taken-for-granted corporate strengths. Nor do their budges reflect fully the ambient advantages.