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M.L.E. Post 8 – well-mannered additions to previous posts (Morrison’s Morsels)

Culture in law departments. A 100-plus lawyer department, conducting a SWOT review (See my post of Aug. 28, 2005 on SWOT analyses.), described its “culture” as “outdated” because it was “stagnate and risk averse, conservative, lacking humility, afraid of change.” Ouch. Four of those concepts sound in rigidity.

Contracts and contracts consultants. Consider having an expert in contract drafting assist you with preparing your form contracts. According to one, Kenneth A. Adams, “In general, the quality of contract drafting is poor, even at the biggest law firms and law departments. Law departments can put themselves at a significant disadvantage by using form contracts that may have been drafted by a group of experienced lawyers but nevertheless are far less clear, concise, and efficient than they should be. Mr. Adams, an experienced lawyer, notes that he has been helping “a Fortune 100 company that is seeking to reorganize its global contract-drafting process. I’m reviewing a selection of draft form contracts, providing training on recommended contract-drafting usages, and providing advice on the contract-management process.”

European Legal Officers Roundtable – another group for GCs. Legal Week, Vol. 7, Nov. 10, 2005 at 62 referred to this group, which is headed by Hans Peter Frick of Nestle.

Chief Operating Officer for Barclay’s law and compliance function. After the merger in 2004 of the bank’s legal and compliance functions, creating a 600-strong group, the general counsel, Mark Harding, appointed a COO (Legal Week, Vol. 7, Nov. 10, 2005 at 62). Perhaps only a title distinction, perhaps a position with more clout than an Administrator or Executive Director commands. (See my post of April 8, 2005 on replacing an administrator with rotating lawyers.)