Stay current on changes and developments in corporate law with a wide variety of resources and tools.
By Yin Wilczek
General counsel support is crucial for corporate legal departments that are trying to decrease the number of law firms they work with, 3M Co.’s managing counsel said.
The most important step is making sure the in-house team is “aligned, starting with the general counsel,” said Joseph Otterstetter, who leads his company’s ongoing convergence efforts. “There will be resistance, I promise, and so if the general counsel isn’t supportive, it’s best not to even start, frankly.”
3M is now in the third stage of its overall convergence work, Otterstetter told Bloomberg BNA June 6 on the sidelines of the Association of Corporate Counsel’s Legal Operations Conference in Chicago.
The St. Paul, Minn.-based manufacturer kicked off its convergence in 2013, when it cut the 300 or so firms it worked with in the U.S. to about 35 to 36 firms, said Otterstetter, who also is associate general counsel of 3M. Last year, the company re-assessed the major portfolios into which it divides its legal work, he said.
So far, the major challenges include managing the changes arising from working with fewer, and new, firms, Otterstetter said. There also are administrative issues, such as ensuring that outside counsel get feedback.
For other companies that are undertaking the effort, Otterstetter said they must be clear on what they are trying to accomplish. For 3M, it’s about managing costs, forging the kinds of relationships it wants, and driving other objectives, such as diversity inclusion and pro bono commitment, he said. “Those were factors that we considered in our selection process.”
To contact the reporter on this story: Yin Wilczek in Washington at email@example.com
To contact the editor responsible for this story: Susan Jenkins at firstname.lastname@example.org
Copyright © 2017 The Bureau of National Affairs, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
All Bloomberg BNA treatises are available on standing order, which ensures you will always receive the most current edition of the book or supplement of the title you have ordered from Bloomberg BNA’s book division. As soon as a new supplement or edition is published (usually annually) for a title you’ve previously purchased and requested to be placed on standing order, we’ll ship it to you to review for 30 days without any obligation. During this period, you can either (a) honor the invoice and receive a 5% discount (in addition to any other discounts you may qualify for) off the then-current price of the update, plus shipping and handling or (b) return the book(s), in which case, your invoice will be cancelled upon receipt of the book(s). Call us for a prepaid UPS label for your return. It’s as simple and easy as that. Most importantly, standing orders mean you will never have to worry about the timeliness of the information you’re relying on. And, you may discontinue standing orders at any time by contacting us at 1.800.960.1220 or by sending an email to email@example.com.
Put me on standing order at a 5% discount off list price of all future updates, in addition to any other discounts I may quality for. (Returnable within 30 days.)
Notify me when updates are available (No standing order will be created).
This Bloomberg BNA report is available on standing order, which ensures you will all receive the latest edition. This report is updated annually and we will send you the latest edition once it has been published. By signing up for standing order you will never have to worry about the timeliness of the information you need. And, you may discontinue standing orders at any time by contacting us at 1.800.372.1033, option 5, or by sending us an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Put me on standing order
Notify me when new releases are available (no standing order will be created)