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Virtual law firms during a crisis

Attendees at the General Counsel Roundtable in 2005 sponsored by the Economist Intelligence Unit Ltd. and FTI discussed how a virtual team of law firms can help during a major crisis. One law firm could be national trial counsel, supported by local counsel in different states, along with another firm devoted to issues of law, still another firm to specialize in discovery, and yet another devoted to advance settlements.

The demands of a high temperature crisis can overwhelm a single firm. According to one participant, the virtual-team approach demands significantly more management by the law department and raises costs “by probably 25%, but the advantages and results far outweigh any disadvantage” (at 17) Compared to a network of specialist firms, one-stop shopping is no bargain (See my posts about virtual firms of Dec. 5, 2005 on Cisco; Jan. 4, 2006 on Halliburton; and June 5, 2006 on why virtual firms are not more common.).