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Not a buyer’s market for competent counsel in many countries

Roger Marks, the former general counsel of H2O Plus, writes in InsideCounsel, Feb. 2006 at 14 about how to select overseas firms. Nearly all his advice will help in-house lawyers, but I take exception to one statement Marks makes:

“One thing to remember when you are shopping for overseas counsel is that it’s a buyer’s market. There are many qualified firms in a particular city or country.”

No, no, no, say the law departments I encounter. Outside the major trading countries, and the largest city or two in them no less, the pickings are slim. If a law department hunts for capable lawyers (let alone law firms) in the rest of the world, the choices are more Hobson (any horse so long as it’s next to the stable door) or Ford (any color car you want as long as it’s black).

In many countries of the world, experienced, competent, English-speaking lawyers, whose style of practice and legal value delivered meet the expectations of multinational law departments, recognize full well their coveted position in what is in fact a sellers’ market.