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Lessons learned from a secondment

Craighton Goepple, now a senior lawyer with Starbucks, describes his experience as a secondee from Graham & James to the law department in Tokyo of ITOCHU. Starting in 1996, Goepple worked full time at ITOCHU for a year and a half. The article, in Bus. Law Today, Vol. 17, Jan./Feb. 2008 at 31, defines “secondment” as the “loan of a lawyer to a client to work in-house.” The article walks through five benefits to a law firm lawyer of being seconded as well as four “risks/challenges” but does not take up the advantages and disadvantages to a law department of having a secondee.

My previous forays into secondment leave lots of room for more information, and benchmark data, about this practice (See my posts of Sept. 21, 2005 on hiring secondees; Oct. 26, 2005 on reverse secondments; and June 13, 2006 on bilateral secondments.).

Several instances of the practice here and abroad have surfaced. At least five law departments have been noted here who have brought aboard secondees (See my posts of Sept. 25, 2006 on Minerals Technologies and LANXESS; Oct. 30, 2006 on Ikon Office Solutions; Feb. 25, 2007 on SAB Miller; Feb. 25, 2007 on Pfizer; and Dec. 21, 2005 #3 on South East Water.). The article cited above states that Starbucks also sips secondees.

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