Canadian Lawyer InHouse

Oct/Nov 2008

Legal news and trends for Canadian in-house counsel and c-suite executives

Issue link: http://digital.canadianlawyermag.com/i/50895

Contents of this Issue

Navigation

Page 45 of 47

INCLOSING Our roundup of interesting trends and what's going on in legal departments SEEN&HEARD More legal work stays in house The 2008 chief legal officer survey, conducted annually by Altman Weil Inc., reports an upcoming shiſt in the inside-outside mix, with CLOs planning to increase law depart- ment staffing and decrease outside counsel usage in the next 12 months. Forty-nine per cent of CLOs participating in the survey plan to hire additional law- yers in the next year, jumping from 40 per cent last year. In addition, 26 per cent of law departments plan to decrease their use of outside counsel — up significantly from 16 per cent in last year's survey. Only eight per cent of CLOs plan to increase their use of outside counsel, down from 18 per cent CLOs identified cost control as their top concern over the next three to five years, according to the survey. Cost control was rated first by 28 per cent of CLOs, a two- to-one margin over second-rated limited resources. Compliance was third on the list. Global growth drives agenda Top in-house counsel have revealed that what most impacts their work right now is the pace and scope of global growth, far more than do rising law firm costs or the economic downturn, according to a recent poll, conducted by the Association of Corporate Counsel, at a conference called, "Wake up to the future: How global corporate legal services must change." Globalization was the top issue for the 100 senior corporate counsel polled at the conference. More than 38 per cent of in-house lawyers attending the event saw the pace and scope of global growth as having the biggest impact on the corporate legal function today. Lagging behind were rising costs of outside counsel, viewed by 20 per cent as the biggest issue, and the economic downturn, viewed as such by 14 per cent. An audience-response system was used to survey the conference attendees, of whom 36 per cent were counsel of companies with more than $10 billion in revenues, and 34 per cent with $1-10 billion in revenues. Moves & shakes Stikeman Elliott LLP is pleased to announce that former partner, Lawson Hunter, will be returning to the firm's Ottawa office as coun- sel. For the last five years, Hunter was BCE's executive vice president and chief corporate officer with responsibility for regulatory af- fairs and public policy. Schneider Power Inc., Canada's renewable energy company, is pleased to announce that it has named Jonathan Lundy as CEO. Lundy succeeds Thomas Schneider, the founder of the company, who will continue in the role of vice chairman and president. Terrence Bell has joined Total Energy Services Ltd. in Calgary as its general coun- sel and corporate secretary. Bell was formerly with the law firm of Davison Worden LLP. Ernest Belyea has joined the Toronto office of Bennett Jones LLP. Belyea was previously senior corporate counsel with the Ontario Power Authority. The Toronto office of Borden Ladner Ger- vais LLP has announced 2 additions: Marsha Gerhart as counsel, formerly of the Ontario Securties Commission, and lawyer Stepha- nie Campanaro, formerly with Loblaw Prop- erties Ltd. Send moves and shakes to moves@clbmedia.ca Law offices rethink hiring and retention strategies Recent developments in the legal profession are prompting law firms and corporate legal depart- ments to employ increasingly progressive recruiting and talent-management strategies, according to a recently released paper from Robert Half Legal. The paper, "Best practices for recruiting, devel- oping and retaining top legal talent," is part of the company's annual Future Law Office project. Some of the highlights include: • Lawyers surveyed identified advancement oppor- tunities, flexible work schedules, career develop- ment or training, mentoring or leadership training, and stock options or other equity bonuses as the most effective incentives for retaining and motivat- ing their best workers. • Some law firms are implementing multi-phased 46 OC T OBER 2008 C ANADIAN Lawyer INHOUSE retirement programs in which lawyers work part- time while they groom their successors. • The recruitment and retention of minority groups remains an ongoing challenge for many law firms. Some firms are instituting new initiatives targeted specifically to women and minorities. • Corporate legal departments are completing more work in-house to reduce spending.

Articles in this issue

Archives of this issue

view archives of Canadian Lawyer InHouse - Oct/Nov 2008