Posted by: johnocunningham | June 13, 2014

In-house Legal Leaders Speak Out

A panel of in-house legal leaders shared their thoughts on legal sales and service issues at the LSSO RainDance conference on June 5, and some of their perspectives inspired a good many follow-up questions from the audience.

The panel included: Jason Brown, VP, GC and Secretary for Dyson; Thomas Sabatino, VP, GC and Corporate Secretary for Walgreen Company; Gabe Miller, President and GC of 1-800-Law-Firm; and David Cambria, Global Director of Operations, Law, Compliance and Government Operations for Archer Daniels Midland Company.

Some of the comments that were popularly tweeted and re-tweeted included the following paraphrases:

  • “I expect you to know my industry and know my business” (a perspective that seemed to be unanimous);
  • “I am tired of outside lawyers who whine about having to do budgets. This is one of the most frustrating things I deal with” (another perspective that more than one panelist echoed);
  • “When I look for a lawyer in a new area, I turn first to other GCs and in-house lawyers in my rolodex to see who they use” (this comment too drew head-nodding from the panel);
  • “One sure way to get fired is to go around me to the CEO” (a tactic that more than one GC has had to endure); and
  • “When I ask about your experience, I expect you to know not only your history of results, but your history of charges for the legal services rendered to get those results. How can you not pay attention to that?”

In the coming days, I expect to summarize more of the responses to the rapid-fire rounds of questions aimed at in-house legal leaders last week. Some attendees have asked when a summary might be posted and I am just waiting on more note-takers to send me their take-aways soon.




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