Uber Looking for New General Counsel Amid Increasingly Dicey Legal Issues

UberUber has picked an interesting time to shuffle the top ranks of its legal team. points out  .

A company email indicates that CEO Travis Kalanick said he plans to search for an external hire to fill the role. The general counsel search started after Uber moved its  longtime general counsel, Salle Yoo, to chief legal officer.

Uber is facing a federal Department of Justice probe as well as a major lawsuit from Alphabet.

“Given Uber’s myriad of thorny legal issues, along with an ongoing investigation into allegations of pervasive sexism and sexual harassment, that search should be an interesting one for the company to conduct,” writes Bhuyan.

Read the recode.net article.


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Download: In-House Counsel’s Legaltech Buyer’s Guide

LawGeex, a provider of an AI contract review platform for businesses, has launched The In-House Counsel’s LegalTech Buyer’s Guide – a free, downloadable guide that showcases more than 100 must-know technology solutions which solve the daily challenges faced by in-house lawyers.

The book includes practical advice based on dozens of interviews, real life experiences and personal recommendations from in-house lawyers and legal experts who have used technology to cut costs and reduce legal inefficiency. Lawyers came from companies including Pearson, AIG, TabTale, Travelocity, Vodafone, NetApp, Del Monte, Axalta Coating Systems, Tongal and Novartis.

The book includes:

  • 60+ page practical and jargon-free reference guide
  • 100+ top technology solutions for legal departments
  • Personal recommendations and stories from dozens of in-house lawyers and legal experts
  • Explanations of an in-house legaltech buying journey, including barriers to adoption, establishing and monitoring KPIs, and more

Download the guide.



Managing Partners Say Their Lawyers Are Underperforming and Slow to Change

Bloomberg Law reports on a survey of nearly 400 managing partners and chairs, finding that the leaders of Big Law firms in the U.S. don’t seem to be very happy with recent changes — or lack thereof — in their firms.

“In response to survey questions posed by legal management consulting firm Altman Weil, 88 percent of respondents said they have chronically underperforming lawyers, 61 percent said overcapacity is diluting their profitability, and 65 percent said their partners resist most efforts to change how to they do business,” writes . “This comes at a time when most (72 percent) law firm leaders said the pace of change in the legal industry will only continue to increase in the coming years.”

One of the findings is that business is moving in-house, and managing partners recognize that: 67.9 percent of respondents said they are already losing business to in-house legal departments.

Read the Bloomberg article.


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June 28 Event: Experts Explore Ways to Control Litigation Costs

Bloomberg BNABig Law Business and Catalyst will present a complimentary event in San Francisco, Successful Legal Department Management: Innovation to Control Litigation Costs and Ensure Compliance to discover how today’s top law firms are pairing innovation with technology to move litigation control in-house and on-budget.

The event will be Wednesday, June 28, 2017, 3:30-5:30 p.m. at the Bloomberg LP office at 3 Pier #101 in San Francisco 94111.

Leading in-house and outside counsel will discuss where they believe legal departments face the most pressure and how to successfully transform the management of litigation.

In addition, this event will explore:

  • The necessity of developing new and innovative approaches for managing departments to keep litigation costs low
  • How to prepare teams, departments and businesses to identify the benefits of technology
  • How to effectively prepare for litigation, from initial investigations to trial

Register for the event.



Forum: Examine the Risks and Rewards for Cross-Border Deals

International businessBloomberg BNA and World Services Group are partnering to deliver business intelligence, drawn from market-leading news and data analysis, tailored for the advisers of international business.

The forum will be at Bloomberg LP’s office at 120 Park Ave., New York 10017, on Tuesday, June 20, 2017. A pre-forum briefing will be 1-3 p.m., and the forum will be 3-5 p.m.

The Cross-Border Deals Forum will explore strategies for handling business and regulatory challenges impacting the industry, including:

• Tax reform, trade agreements, and policy shifts;

• Cross-border risk assessment;

• Expanding privacy and data security requirements; and

• Market and industry opportunities to watch.

Connecting deal-makers with a global group of peers and actionable insights, the Cross-Border Deals Forum covers the market shifts, opportunities and long-term trends executives are watching, and the political and regulatory changes affecting cross-border success.

Request an invitation.



Success Factors for Compliance During Office 356 Migration

Computer with binary zeroes and onesZapproved has published a solution brief about how to keep legal preservation during Microsoft Office 365 migration. The free brief can be downloaded from Zapproved’s website.

The duty to preserve does not cease when an organization migrates data systems, Zapproved says on its website. In fact, not only does the duty persist, but it becomes more complex.

Corporate legal teams must collaborate with IT to define a migration plan with processes that defensibly preserve data despite the complexity of a hybrid data world with half in the cloud and half on premise. Since data is not in one place, dual processes are required to ensure compliance is maintained throughout migration.

“In-House Elevated: Close the Gap on Office 365 E-Discovery Success,” by Zapproved Senior Product Manager Sarah Thompson addresses what legal and IT teams will need to consider to safely protect discovery data and manage preservation during and after migrating to Office 365.

Download the publication.



Study: Most CCOs Don’t Review Incentive Risks

new report from the Society of Corporate Compliance & Ethics finds that most chief compliance officers don’t review incentive-based compensation for possible misconduct risk.

He calls this an alarming conclusion, since incentive pay is often what causes misconduct in the first place.

“According to the report, which surveyed more than 400 compliance professionals, only 23 percent have opportunity to review management incentive plans before senior executives approve those plans; another 8 percent could review the plans after approval,” he writes. “A whopping 52 percent said they never review management incentive plans at all.”

Read the article.


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Report: Uber Fired In-House Lawyers for Seeking Advice From Outside Firms

San Francisco Business Times is reporting that Uber fired two of its lawyers late last year after they sought advice from other law firms, a move Uber reportedly considered a fireable offense.

Reporter  follows up on a report from The Information that says the lawyers reached out for input on proposed policy changes at the San Francisco-based ride-hailing giant related to how long internal documents and company data are retained. The firings were “followed by the departure of three other lawyers over the next few months.”

The article continues:

The unrest in Uber’s litigation team was apparently sparked by a proposal from Uber’s general counsel related to “how the company handles corporate documents and other company data,” according to The Information.

“The two lawyers had expressed concerns to some colleagues about the new policy, according to two people briefed about the issue. The specific concerns couldn’t be learned. The lawyers contacted several outside law firms to solicit an opinion about the proposed policy, a move that Uber deemed to be a breach of their responsibilities to the company, these people said.”

Read the SF Business Times article.

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Just Released: Study of Effective Legal Spend Management

In its new Study of Effective Legal Spend Management, Exterro reveals how more than 50 in-house legal decision makers are leveraging new strategies for reducing legal spend at their organizations.

More than 20 legal spend management techniques are analyzed and compared against one another, giving readers the needed insight for effectively minimizing legal costs within their own legal departments, the company says on its website.

The study provides:

  • Insight on how leading legal departments are managing spend and controlling costs
  • Survey results on frequently asked legal spend questions
  • New strategies for controlling your legal spend at your organization

Download the complimentary report.


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Governance Challenges 2017 – Complimentary Report

National Association of Corporate DirectorsThe National Association of Corporate Directors annually collaborates with its five strategic-content partners to provide guidance for boards of directors on a hot-button governance issue. This year’s topic is ESG, or environmental, social, and governance oversight — an issue that strongly impacts corporate sustainability.

The NACD has made the report available for downloading at no charge.

The report provides ESG guidance in order to help directors:

  • ensure the board and executive team have the right skills for driving ESG performance;
  • connect environmental and social issues to the company’s business mission;
  • communicate the company’s environmental and social efforts to investors, and to stakeholders;
  • understand the financial impact of climate risks and improve related disclosures; and
  • link compensation to financial results and ESG factors.

Download the report.



The Burden Of Keeping In-House Secrets

In-house lawyers often are brought into a myriad of issues they may wish they had been left out of, points out Stephen R. Williams in a post on Above the Law.

He illustrates his point by describing a case he encountered in his role as in-house counsel with a multi-facility hospital network. An executive approached him and revealed that a well-known and well-liked employee was about to be fired.

“After asking a couple rather high-level and routine HR questions, I blessed the dismissal and took my leave only to bump into the employee in question a few steps down the hallway,” writes Williams. “While I was not bound by any form of attorney-client privilege at that point, I knew there was absolutely no way I could tell that employee they had better reconsider their summer vacation plans.”

He tells how he dealt with the situation during the next three weeks. He also discusses dealing with standard office gossip in an HR context.

Read the Above the Law article.



Kim Technologies Launches Intelligent Legal Operations Platform

Kim Technologies has announced the launch of its Intelligent Legal Operations Platform, which allows in-house teams to automate various law department processes quickly and easily without the need for IT development or coding.

The award-winning Kim platform is already being used by a number of Global 100 companies for activities ranging from contract and in-life management, litigation and employment, to compliance, patents and property. More information can be found here.

Real world examples of how global law departments are using the technology will be demonstrated by in-house leaders at two sessions during the Corporate Legal Operations Consortium in Las Vegas May 9-11.

And the developer will present a complimentary forthcoming webinar at 11.30 ET on May 25: How Kim’s no-code AI platform is transforming legal departments around the globe.

See details of the new platform.



2nd Annual CLOC Institute Set for Las Vegas May 9-11

CLOCThe Corporate Legal Operations Consortium will hold its 2nd Annual CLOC Institute on May 9-11, 2017 at Bellagio Resort in Las Vegas.

Known as the largest gathering of legal operations professionals in the world, this year’s conference will feature more than 70 sessions and 120 speakers. More information can be found in a press release here.

To see a list of all the sessions, click here.

Some session highlights and speakers include:

  • “Was It Something I Said?: Advanced Workshop on the Role of Personality in a Successful Law Department,” featuring Larry Richard of LawyerBrain (pre-session on May 8);
  • “The Future is Closer Than You Think: A Conversation with Richard Susskind,” featuring Richard Susskind, author of “Tomorrow’s Lawyers”;
  • “Legal Operations Maturity Model: How Do You Rate?”;
  • “Beyond the Hype about AI: Practical Applications of Artificial Intelligence in Today’s Law Department”;
  • “Knowledge Management: What, Why and How”; and
  • “Big Thinker Panel: CLOC’s Magna Carta for the Corporate Legal Services Industry,” (two-part session).

Register for the event.



Big Law Business Summit Set for May 24

Bloomberg Big Law Business will host its 3rd annual Summit in Manhattan.

The event will be Wednesday, May 24, 2017, at Bloomberg LP, 731 Lexington Ave., New York, NY 10022, from noon until 6 p.m. A networking lunch and cocktail reception will be included.

Attendance is by invitation only. Anyone interested in an invitation may submit a request.

The agenda is available online.

Some of the speakers will include:

  • Peter Beshar, Executive Vice President and General Counsel, Marsh & McLennan Companies
  • Matthew Cooper, Executive Vice President, Head of Legal, Capital One Financial
  • Stephen Cutler, Vice Chairman, JPMorgan Chase
  • Eric Grossman, Chief Legal Officer and Managing Director, Morgan Stanley
  • Deborah Kaback, Chief Legal Officer, Oppenheimer Asset Management
  • Aristedes Mahairas, FBI Special Agent in Charge, Special Operations/Cyber Division, New York Office
  • Manisha Sheth, Executive Deputy Attorney General for Economic Justice Division, Office of the New York State Attorney General
  • Patrick Speice, Assistant General Counsel, Regulatory and Compliance, United States Steel Corporation
  • Mary Jo White, Senior Chair, Debevoise & Plimpton

Request an invitation here.



4th Big Law Business Diversity Symposium Set for May 10

Diversity - employmentBloomberg Big Law Business is convening leaders of corporate legal departments and law firms to address the diversity and inclusion challenge at a unique invitation-only event – the 4th Big Law Business Diversity Symposium.

The event will take place 8-10 a.m. Wednesday, May 10, 2017, at Bloomberg Government, 1101 K St NW, Suite 500, in Washington, DC 20005.

Request your invitation today to attend sessions such as:

Leading the Profession: Success Stories
Corporate legal departments see the most successful relationships when their goals and their law firm’s priorities are aligned. Hear how peers are approaching this effort and measuring success.

Inspiring Accountability: A Workshop
Big Law Business will facilitate a workshop on how to have the tough conversations on accountability for diversity and inclusion measures. Explore solutions to inspire leaders to create the incentives, models, and structures to increase diversity and stronger inclusion of ideas and skills in the profession.

Symposium Wrap-Up
Accountability measures that resonate: how the workshop results match back to traditional measurements of progress in the diversity of the legal profession.

The event is sponsored by Major, Lindsey & Africa and Quarles & Brady.

Request an invitation.



Download: Connecting the General Counsel and the Board

board of directors - conference tableThe National Association of Corporate Directors has published a guide that reviews the three main indicators of an effective partnership between the general counsel and the board. The guide is available for free downloading.

Those three indicators include:

  • aligned role expectations
  • open and direct communication
  • enhanced dialogue on risk oversight

Over the past few years, the role of the general counsel has grown in both scope and stature, the NACD says on its website. Once seen purely as legal advisors, many general counsel now spend much of their time serving as strategic advisors, regularly providing strategic direction to the CEO and to the board of directors.

General counsel should recognize that directors’ expectations of them go beyond their traditional legal role and that their unique legal and ethical perspective strengthens their ability to help mitigate organizational risk.

Download the guide.




Dewey’s Former GC on the Crisis at United Airlines

The general counsel of Dewey & LeBoeuf while the now-defunct law firm collapsed has experience with crises, so Bloomberg Law asked her to explain the likely legal ramifications of United Airlines’ botched handling of an overbooked flight and what the company may do to mitigate the fallout.

Janis Meyer, now a partner at Hinshaw & Culbertson, focuses her practice on professional responsibility, writes .

She discusses what the airline’s general counsel likely is doing this week to deal with the crisis, who he will speak to, who ultimately bears responsibility, whether apologies serve any legal purpose, and whether the incident would play out differently if phones to capture the event were not available.

Read the Bloomberg article.


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Dallas-Based Bailey Brauer Earns Spot Among BTI’s ‘Best Branded’ Law Firms

BTI Brand Elite 2017Dallas-based litigation boutique Bailey Brauer PLLC has been recognized by BTI Consulting Group as one of the law firms with the “best brand standing” in the country, based on a survey of corporate counsel and executives at the world’s largest organizations.

In a news release, the firm said Bailey Brauer is among the smallest and youngest firms to earn this prestigious recognition, which is an indicator of how likely it is a firm will be considered for new work. The three-lawyer firm has enjoyed noteworthy successes in complex commercial litigation and appellate matters since its opening in 2013.

Selection to the BTI Brand Elite 2017 list is based on in-depth interviews with more than 600 corporate counsel and executives at the world’s largest and most influential companies. Respondents are asked about the law firms they hire and why. Final selection is based on intangibles that differentiate the law firms.

Read the release.



U.S. District Judge Sounds Off on Law Firms’ High Billing Rates

Banking - investing - money - advisorsThe invisible hand of the free market hasn’t been able to exert much control over law firm billing rates, U.S. District Judge Jed S. Rakoff said at a Cardozo School of Law panel discussion about the high cost of the legal system, reports Bloomberg Law.

Rakoff cited a 2016 report that showed average hourly rates for partners rose from $122 in 1985 to $532 in 2012, as average associates rates grew from $79 to $370.

Reporter  quotes Rakoff as asking: “Why isn’t the free market operating?” The  answer, he said, lies in the fact that the legal profession operates much like a guild, with “substantial barriers to entry,” not least of which is the cost of a legal education.

Read the Bloomberg article.


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Companies Use Diversity Data to Hold Law Firms Accountable

Diversity - employmentLegal departments aren’t just asking their outside law firms to field diverse groups of attorneys — they’re asking those firms to put attorneys in leadership positions, and they’re asking for data to back it up, reports Bloomberg Law.

Facebook bow requires outside counsel working on its projects to have at least 33 percent women and ethnic minorities. In addition, the firms must show they are actively creating “clear and measurable leadership opportunities for women and minorities” in the company’s legal matters, The New York Times reported.

“Facebook’s new policy comes on the heels of HP’s announcement in February that it would start withholding fees from law firms that don’t meet diversity requirements,” writes .

Read the Bloomberg article.


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