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.