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Rees Morrison’s Morsels #134: posts longa, morsels breva

Four-time general counsel. Corp. Counsel, March 2010 at 37, notes that when Tracy Rich recently became the general counsel of Guardian Life Insurance Company, it was his fourth general counselship in a 30-year career (See my post of Nov. 16, 2008 #3: four-time general counsel.).

The legal surcharge for being publicly traded
. A publicly traded company with only $25 million in revenue, EDD Helms Group, spent roughly $250,000 in additional expenses because of the costs of complying with SEC rules and Sarbanes-Oxley, according to an article in Corp. Counsel, March 2010 at 40. Not all of that amount went to legal counsel, perhaps not even a large portion, but some did. I have long wondered about the additional legal costs of having publicly traded stocks or bonds (See my post of Jan. 19, 2008: unknown metrics about non-publicly traded companies.).

If up-or-out disappears, recruitment will be harder for law departments. At times I reflect on how changes in law firms might ripple through to legal departments. At the Georgetown Law Conference on Law Firm Evolution, however, one of the predictions was that we will soon see the end of law firms operating on the basis of up or out. If that comes about, if good lawyers stay at firms even if not promoted to partner, if the pressure to be promoted lessens, then legal departments will have a harder time recruiting experienced associates (See my post of Sept. 22, 2009: ways to find lawyers for openings other than search firms with 17 references and 1 metapost.).

The number of branch offices of a firm negatively correlates to its profitability. A panelist at the recent Georgetown Law Conference on Law Firm Evolution announced this fact: more offices, lower profit per partner. Assuming that to be true, should law departments have some concern if a key firm has scattered offices around the globe? Doesn’t lower than normal profitability suggest risks of lower quality, less effectiveness, weaker management, poorer sharing of information, more attrition, and higher costs (See my post of Jan. 3, 2007: US firms with branch offices in France.)?