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The tough lot of the law department for a spin-off

After a corporate spin-off, such as when Kraft left the Philip Morris orbit, Catalent emerged from Cardinal Health, or Cendant broke itself into pieces, a spanking new law department enters the world (See my post of March 2, 2008: spin-off; and April 9, 2006: mentions Tyco, Cendant and Wendy’s.).

The first year or so may be traumatic for the spin-off legal team as everything descends on them, including an extra load of transition work, and promised backup from the parent company may fall short of what is needed. Some of the best lawyers may elect to remain with the other company. Also, many spin-offs start out deliberately under-nourished because senior management wants to be lean at the beginning and build corporate staff only as needed.