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Rees Morrison’s Morsels #107 – additions to earlier posts and short takes

Rapid growth of Starbuck’s legal department. Corp. Bd. Mbr., Vol. 12, 2nd Quarter 2009 at 46, says that after Paula Boggs became the general counsel of Starbucks in 2002, she “tripled the size of the legal department to 147 attorneys.” That is caffeinated growth and adds to this blogs collection of rapid expansions (See my post of May 10, 2007: Clayton Holdings; Feb. 19, 2006 #4: Home Depot; Nov. 19, 2005: Google; June 4, 2007: Wal-Mart; and June 11, 2008: an Abu Dhabi growth spurt and Caterpillar’s.).

Seyfarth Shaw and Six Sigma for litigation. According to a Bloomberg article by Cynthia Coutts, FMC Technologies chose this firm as a finalist in its ongoing selection process because it uses Six Sigma techniques to manage litigation more efficiently. Six Sigma is a business management system developed by Motorola Inc. that uses statistical analysis to improve the quality of processes (See my post of Feb. 13, 2008: Six Sigma with 18 references.).

Paying firms by credit card, quickly. FMC Technologies offers one especially sweet carrot to the firms it retains: It pays law firms by credit card within 15 days of billing, according to a Bloomberg article by Cynthia Coutts (See my post of May 11, 2008: prompt payment with 10 references.).

ISO 9001:2008 certification for legal service providers. Novus Law, an international legal services firm (an LPO), is the first firm in the global legal industry to achieve the new ISO 9001:2008 certification from Underwriters Laboratories. The accreditation specifically highlights the Novus Q and Novus Process document review and management systems. (See my post of April 28, 2009: ISO certification by a law firm.).

Seven hundred years ago, circa 1290 AD, clients needed guidance on how much to pay lawyers. Fees were to be based on “The amount of the matter in dispute, the labour of the serjeant, his value as a pleader in respect of his learning, eloquence, and repute, and lastly the usage of the court.” This early statement of value billing, decreed 700-plus years ago, comes from The Mirror of Justices, Book II, c.5. Selden Society Edition, 1895. Having inexplicably overlooked that source, I am grateful for the clue from Laura Empson, ed., Managing The Modern Law Firm: New Challenges New Perspectives (Oxford Univ. Press 2007) at 117 (Huseyin Leblebici).