• MARY K YOUNG, Partner, Zeughauser Group, Washington D.C.
    Moving the Global Law Firm Through a Challenging Economy: Focus on Strategy
  • DAVID SYED, Senior Partner - Europe, Orrick, Paris
    Changing Supply & Demand for Global Legal Services: The Multi-polar Dynamic
  • JOHN H. STOUT, Partner, Fredrikson & Byron, Minneapolis
    The Fulfilled International Lawyer: Advice for a Successful Career
  • ADAM SMITH, General Counsel, EADS Defence & Security, Munich
    Laws are Local: How Can Corporate Legal Services Become More Global?
  • HELENA SAMAHA, General Counsel EMEA, AlixPartners, Paris
    Transcending Legal Expertise to Get to the Heart of Serving Global Clients
  • THOMAS J. SABATINO, Jr., Executive Vice President & General Counsel, Schering-Plough Corporation, New Jersey
    Musical Chairs: How Today’s General Counsel Earns a Seat at the Top Executive Table
  • NORM RUBENSTEIN, Partner, Zeughauser Group, Washington D.C.
    The Key to Credible International Branding
  • JOLENE OVERBECK, Chief Marketing Officer, DLA Piper, New York City
    Moving the Global Law Firm Through a Challenging Economy: Focus on Strategy
  • MICHAEL O’NEILL, SVP and General Counsel, Lenovo Corporation, Washington D.C.
    Fit for Global: Operating Tenets for the General Counsel
  • MARY MULLALLY, Head of Networks, Practical Law Company, London
    How Corporate Counsel in the UK and Europe are Changing, and the Key Elements of Success
  • DEBORAH MCMURRAY, CEO and Strategy Architect, Content Pilot LLC, Dallas
    LAW FIRM 4.0: Considerations for the Global Law Firm in 2020
  • CHRIS MARSHALL, Pro Bono & Community Manager, Reed Smith and Chair, Board of Trustees, Advocates for International Development, London
    International Pro Bono – Broadening our Geographical Reach
  • BRUCE MacEWEN, Founder, “Adam Smith Esq.,”, New York City
    Re-thinking Your Global Strategy: Geography, Talent and Management
  • DESPINA KARTSON, Chief Marketing Officer, Latham & Watkins LLP, New York City
    The Role of Law Firm Values in Successful Global Expansion
  • PETER KALIS, Chairman and Global Managing Partner, K&L Gates LLP, New York City
    The Signature Legal Challenge of the 21st Century
  • ALAN JENKINS, Chairman, Eversheds LLP, London
    Understanding the Importance of Culture in Managing a Global Law Firm
  • FADI HAMMADEH, General Counsel, Dubai Properties Group, Dubai
    The Regulatory Pendulum Worldwide: Where are we Headed?
  • ANN LEE GIBSON, Ann Lee Gibson Consulting, West Plains, Missouri
    Feels Like 1990 All Over Again: Law Firm Economic Cycles
  • TIM S. GLASSETT, Former General Counsel, Hilton Hotels Corporation, Beverly Hills, CA
    Building and Motivating a High-Performing Global Legal Team
  • ROSS FISHMAN, CEO, Fishman Marketing, Highland Park, Illinois
    Focus: The Benefits of a Narrow Scope in the Face of Global Opportunity
  • JAN EIJSBOUTS, former General Counsel, Akzo Nobel, Amsterdam
    Foreword
  • E. LEIGH DANCE, President, ELD International, Inc., New York and Rome
    Introduction and European Counsel Must Improve Compliance
  • BRUNO COVA, Partner, Paul Hastings, Milan
    Reflections on Moving Inside to Outside, and European Counsel Must Improve Compliance
  • JEFFREY CARR General Counsel, FMC Technologies, Houston
    Building a Better Legal Service Delivery System
  • PETER J. BESHAR EVP and General Counsel, Marsh & McLennan Companies, New York City
    Living Through a Corporate Crisis and Preparing for What Might Come Next
  • DEREK BENTON Director of International Operations, Lexis-Nexis Martindale-Hubbell, London
    Lawyers Network Differently as the World Grows Flatter

Global Legal Leaders

Twenty-nine individuals wrote a chapter for Bright Ideas Global Law or their interview with E. Leigh Dance became a chapter.  Of those, 10 have been top in-house lawyers in global companies,  nine are leading partners or executives in law firms, and the others come from a variety of professions:  consultants, chief marketing officers, chairmen, law firm economist and blogger, journalist. In alphabetical order:

Inside Counsel

“A few years ago, Marsh & McLennan (MMC) came very close to suffering the fate of Lehman Brothers and Bear Stearns…  Having served as the head of Legal for MMC through the crisis, I will share with you what we did and some insights I’ve gained along the way…  If you haven’t been inside one of these ‘hurricanes,’ it is hard to fathom the pace and dynamic nature of the process.  The first question:  who was in charge to lead us through the crisis?  Chain of command is critical in a crisis but Spitzer had, in effect, decapitated the organization...”

Peter Beshar, EVP and General Counsel, Marsh & McLennan Companies, New York, from “Living through a Corporate Crisis and Preparing for What Might Come Next”

“In developing our approach (1? LAW™), we found that traditional legal services methods simply don’t work efficiently. We needed to enable all players to work together and to align our interests, which meant creating a platform and an alternative fee system to be used everywhere.  For us, it’s revolutionary... Case cycle time has been reduced, disputes resolved below expected value, law firm evaluations improved, customer service enhanced, and expenditures are flat in absolute terms and declining in relative terms.”
Jeffrey Carr, General Counsel, FMC Technologies, Houston, from “1 Degree Law:  Building a Better Legal Service Delivery System”

“I see the modern corporate legal department of the transnational company as an international law firm in its own right, with three dimensions: general business lawyers with global responsibility, core legal specialists in the core legal fields for the company’s operations, and in-house lawyers on the ground in the main jurisdictions where the company conducts its business.”
Jan Eijsbouts, former General Counsel, Akzo Nobel, “Foreword”

“A balance therefore needs to be struck.  We need to ensure that there are enough adequate regulations in place to protect the general masses from corporate greed, whilst at the same time keeping those regulations flexible and adaptable enough to allow for the individual innovative spirit that has allowed our societies to evolve since the industrial revolution.”
Fadi Hammadeh, General Counsel, Dubai Properties Group, Dubai, from “The Regulatory Pendulum Worldwide: Where are we Headed? “

“A high-performing global legal team has the real authority to make decisions in real time. If each lawyer must get supervisor approval for routine decisions, they won’t develop the confidence to make the legal risk/business reward judgment calls.”

Tim S. Glassett, Former General Counsel, Hilton Hotels Corporation, Santa Monica, from “Building and Motivating a High-Performing Global Legal Team”

“To do business and practice law you have to respect and try to understand cultural differences. You must operate within the cultural constructs, and if you don’t, you can have the greatest legal solution in the world that simply will not play.”
Michael O’Neill, Senior VP and General Counsel, Lenovo Corp, Washington DC, from “Fit for Global: Operating Tenets for the General Counsel”

“The General Counsel fulfilling his or her job today will have a seat at a number of chairs at the top executive table. Legal Specialist, Trusted Advisor, Team Player, Leader.  Jumping from seat to seat is not always easy, and can be confusing for the GC and other players at the table.  But this range of roles for the GC is a growing necessity.  It is here where the General Counsel can play a pivotal part.”
Tom Sabatino, Executive VP and GC, Schering-Plough Corp, “Musical Chairs: How Today’s General Counsel Earns a Seat at the Executive Table”

 “Globalization makes it more important than ever to be able to relate to people where business practice and culture are different, never mind the language. Young lawyers should be encouraged to develop skills which transcend legal expertise, industry sectors and geographies.”
Helena Samaha, General Counsel Eurpe, AlixPartners, “Transcending Legal Expertise to Get to the Heart of Serving Global Clients”

“Thankfully, we have two models to choose from: the big Anglo-Saxon law firm that recently mopped up half the local hotshots and is manfully forcing them to use PowerPoint, or the other half of the hotshots who still think they can make a living from membership in some nebulous network that nobody can pronounce.”
Adam Smith, General Counsel EADS Defence, Munich, from “ Laws are Local: How can Corporate Services Become More Global?”

Outside Counsel:

“As a private practitioner, I see my role as providing input and completion of the product that the General Counsel is delivering within the company. … Among the qualities I like best in a client are decisiveness and clarity.  Those who manage the process and can really identify what they need from you get great value from their outside counsel.”Bruno Cova, Partner, Paul Hastings Janofsky and Walker, Milan, from “Reflections on Moving Inside to Outside”

“In order to be a great place to work, we must respect people for what they can do, regardless of how that differs form the traditional stereotype of the white male lawyer.  Moreover, we can deploy that difference to the advantage of the client, the individual and the firm, and we seek actively to do so.”
Alan Jenkins, Chairman, Eversheds LLP, London, from “Understanding the Importance of Culture in Managing a Global Law Firm Effectively”

“National boundaries are increasingly commercial curiosities—vestiges of time past—with one critical exception:  each national boundary triggers the applicability of different legal regimes, and each legal regime is a cluster of arcane legal rules with glosses of interpretation not necessarily perceptible from the outside. From a legal standpoint, the world is teeming with scores of traps for the unwary.”
Peter J. Kalis, Chairman and Global Managing Partner, K&L Gates LLP, New York, “The Signature Legal Challenge of the 21st Century”

“A key element of this solidity is our tradition of moving people from existing offices to our new offices. They transport the cultural elements, translate the concepts to the local environment, and the roots are thus reinforced.”
Despina Kartson, Chief Marketing Officer, Latham & Watkins LLP, New York, from “The Role of Law Firm Values in Successful Global Expansion”

“With many lawyers not yet involved in pro bono, extending boundaries should not mean a choice between international or domestic work. Instead, it offers the promise of new opportunities in new areas. These extend to lawyers of all ages and levels of expertise, irrespective of jurisdiction and practice area and whether they are in private practice or in-house.”
Chris Marshall, Pro Bono & Community Manager, Reed Smith, London, from “International Pro Bono – Broadening our Geographical Reach”

“Law firms with teams of lawyers on different continents have platforms that work well for the world’s global companies. They can expand into new markets as their clients expand and they can add to practice capabilities as their clients’ needs change. However, recent economic events mean that global law firms will have to adapt more quickly than ever.”
Jolene Overbeck, CMO, DLA Piper, NY and Mark K Young, Partner, Zeughauser Group, Washington DC, from “Moving the Global Law Firm Through a Challenging Economy: Focus on Strategy”

“By and large, not enough firms have felt the pressure to change.  We changed our model for two reasons: 1) we wanted to serve more international clients and so we knew we had to really understand and meet their overall needs; and 2) because a particularly client was very demanding—for the legal skill, the delivery approach and the metrics to support it.  Tyco and DuPont have insisted that we bring in new approaches and systems  Few clients have that vision and make clear demands on their outside counsel.”
Paul Smith, Partner, Eversheds LLP, London, from “Implementing Fundamental Change in a Global Law Firm”

“I was a consistent champion when it came to devoting resources to broadening our firm’s cultural fabric and geographic interests.  As global markets developed, it became more and more apparent that clients needed us to help them achieve their international objectives. …As for me, I simply wanted to work at a place where I could live globalization first-hand.”
John Stout, Partner, Fredrikson & Byron, Minneapolis, from “The Fulfilled International Lawyer:  Advice for a Successful Career”

“The top 50 law firms in the world are generally not looking at regions and cities; we are looking at world markets.  There has been a paradigm shift in the way we have to structure and organize to serve the multi-polar world. It encompasses how we train lawyers, what legal service we give, what law, what language, where we put our resources, how we bill and collect, how we assess profitability and performance… it really impacts the whole spectrum of a law firm’s activities.”
David Syed, Senior Partner – Europe, Orrick, Paris, from “Changing Supply and Demand for Global Legal Services: The Multi-polar Dynamic”

Other Legal Luminaries

“Going forward the legal profession will increasingly want “user generated content” that will require confidentiality and restricted access.  A trusted network of peers, online, will be an essential resource for the busy practitioner in their everyday needs of having opinions, expertise and valued counsel from colleagues.”

Derek Benton, Director – International Operations, LexisNexis Martindale-Hubbell, London, from “Lawyers Network Differently as the World Grows Flatter”

“In-house lawyers need both status and access to corporate leadership in order to fulfill the duties expected of them.”  
Leigh Dance, President, ELD International, and Bruno Cova, Partner, Paul Hastings Janofsky and Walker, from “Corporate Europe Must Improve Compliance”

Today, many international firms have thousands of lawyers spread across dozens of countries and even more cities. Global networks have banded together hundreds of mid-sized, full-service law firms into a community that operates loosely like an international law firm. “Global” isn’t enough any longer for Baker & McKenzie—or any other firm.”
Ross Fishman, CEO, Fishman Marketing, Highland Park, Illinois, from “Focus: The Benefits of a Narrow Scope in the Face of Global Opportunity”

 “It is entirely possible that large law firms will recover faster from this current recession than from the one in 1990-91. This time around, firms appear to have more quickly pared troublesome practices and unneeded resources, actions law firm leaders were slower to take in the early 1990s. However, most firms and their partners should still prepare for multiple years of lower profits per partner.”
Ann Lee Gibson, Ph.D., Ann Lee Gibson Consulting, West Plains, Missouri, from “Feels like 1990 All Over Again: Observations and Forecasts about Law Firm Economic Cycles”

“Global growth is not to be taken lightly, and critical thinking is required in at least three areas: geography, talent, and what I’ll call management structure and leadership. … One caveat before we jump in:  focus your critical thinking out to the horizon.  Managing a law firm is not an exercise in quarter to quarter or year to year performance…  the transition from national firm to truly global firm will take much more time than you wish.”
Bruce MacEwen, Founder, “Adam Smith, Esq.” from “Re-thinking Your Global Strategy: Geography, Talent and Management”.

“Understand where old thinking preserves old behaviors, and push to zero-base your thinking in each of these key areas.  Many common functions or departments in law firms require examination because they meet one or more of these criteria:  1) they are ripe for change; 2) they are forgotten or overlooked; 3) the mere cost of them makes them a target; 4) they make clients angry.”
Deborah McMurray, CEO and Strategy Architect, Content Pilot, Dallas, from “Law Firm 4.0 Considerations for the Global Law Firm”

“The new style of General Counsel needs a new skill set… commercial acumen; communication skills; and an ability to build relationships and strong management skills are the qualities that are likely to mark out the General Counsel of the next decade… But while it is important to be at the top table and have the ear of the board, against a background of unprecedented economic turmoil the ability to deliver on the bottom line and harness resources effectively is also likely to be a key factor in determining those who succeed and those who fail.”
Mary Mullally, Head of Networks, Practical Law Company, London, from “How Corporate Counsel in the UK and Europe are Changing, and the Key Elements of Success”

“To market in a manner more compelling than that which we have seen to date from firms positioning themselves as international would be to tell real stories that demonstrate to clients and other audiences that the firm has achieved the grail of cross-border alignment—not simply to claim that the firm exists in Abu Dhabi, Tokyo, and Rio de Janeiro as well as in New York and London.”
Norm Rubenstein, Partner, Zeughauser Group, Washington DC, from “The Key to Credible International Branding”

“I found a high degree of congruence in the views of the current and former law firm leaders I talked to on four business concepts that have slowly evolved in legal practice:  These are:  the S-word (strategy), the L-word (leadership), the A-word (alignment—thank you McKinsey, Harvard), and the M-word (management).”
Simon Slater, Director, First Counsel, London, from “What it Takes to be an Exceptional Global Law Firm Leader”

 

 


Profits from Bright Ideas book sales will go to Advocates for International Development, an international pro bono organization.  www.A4ID.org