Being a good client

Being a good client

Read this article on LBC Wise Counsel's blog.

Jonathan Smith is Director at LBC Wise Counsel, the leading management consultancy for in-house lawyers.

Jonathan spent the majority of his career working in the in-house legal sector. A graduate of Clare College, Cambridge, he started his career with law firms in Manchester and then Oxford. He joined the European legal team of the US headquartered business services provider PHH in 1992 before in 1997 joining International Computers Limited, later renamed Fujitsu. While at Fujitsu, he managed the ICL intellectual property function, acted as legal director for its European IT services business and was general counsel for its UK and Ireland business.

After acting as general counsel to Berwin Leighton Paisner's Managed Legal Services business, he joined LBC in 2013.

Jonathan is a Fellow of the Society for Computers and Law, and was named in The Lawyer's Hot 100 in 2008.

Being a good client

There seems always to be an awful lot of (often awful) discussion about the engagement of external law firms by in-house teams. Most of it concerns the charging model adopted by law firms. However, rather than contributing yet another piece on the iniquities and inefficiencies of the hourly rate, the mythology of alternative fee arrangements and what a bad business model all those millionaires in law firms operate, I want to look at some more qualitative aspects of the in-house / out-house relationship.

It’s tempting to look at this relationship as an antithetical one, a power struggle between an in-house team trying to assert dominance over the external lawyers and the external lawyers trying to find multiple ways to retain and grow their relationship with their client - through, over and behind the backs of the in-house team. Seeing the in-house / external law firm relationship purely in terms of power struggles and fee battles however misses some important points.

One of the most important

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