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Rees Morrison’s Morsels #130 – posts longa, morsels breva

An early and focused in-house litigation lawyer (Chanel 1928). According to a review in the London Rev. of Books, Jan. 7, 2010 at 33, early in her business career the legendary Coco Chanel struck what she felt was a terrible deal with the businessmen who marketed her perfumes. By 1928, four years after the agreement took effect, the businessmen “had an in-house lawyer who dealt exclusively with the lawsuits instigated by that ‘bloody woman’…”

More than 80 risk management frameworks. An article in Int’l In-House Counsel J., Vol 2, Autumn 2009 at 1403, discusses in-house counsel and risk management. Early on, it states that there are more than 80 risk management frameworks reported worldwide and gives a citation. The author of the article, an in-house attorney in China, then proposes an overly ambitious goal: “The in-house legal counsels should periodically perform an overall assessment of all legal risks impacting the business operations, and report to the general counsel on the status of these risks and actions to control them” (See my post of Jan. 19, 2010: too broad an expectation about legal risk management.).

Fragments on Microsoft’s Legal & Corporate Affairs department. The Columbia Law School Mag., Winter 2010 at 30, has a short profile of Brad Smith, Microsoft’s top lawyer. It mentions that he oversees a staff of roughly 1,000 that has attorneys in 44 countries. Smith is also the company’s chief compliance officer and “is responsible for the expansion of Microsoft’s philanthropic activities.” It is ironic that the head lawyer, who strives to protect the company’s assets, also leads the company’s group that strives to give away company assets, the philanthropy group (See my post of June 16, 2009: General Counsel of Bristol-Myers also ran corporate philanthropy.).

Rate cards – what are they? Some legal departments and some consultants refer to “rate cards.” One advisor maintains that “rate cards” save more than discounts and freezes over the longer run but they demand more analysis, effort and time to establish. But what is a rate card? Set fees for a service?