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Motorola Solutions’ huge spinoff law department and the former secondee who leads it

Many companies have spun off parts of themselves, thereby sundering their legal departments (See my post of March 12, 2011: spin-offs with 6 references.). Perhaps none of them created a new law department of the size of Motorola Solutions’. According to Diversity & The Bar, March/April 2011 at 14, the spin-off has more than 100 lawyers and 150 other legal personnel. Some of the allocation of personnel to stay or spin was undoubtedly pre-ordained, such as the commercial lawyers and patent lawyers who had been dedicated to a business unit. Other choices were harder to make, such as litigators and other specialists that could serve either side well.

A second point, on secondment, caught my eye. Lewis Steverson, the general counsel of the new spinoff, joined Arnold & Porter after law school. The firm represented Motorola and when the company inquired about borrowing a litigation associate, Steverson was chosen. The finance department of Motorola referred to him affectionately as a “rent a lawyer” recalled Steverson in the article. Motorola eventually made the secondee an offer and his path in-house was set.

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