Thursday, May 3, 2012

Report from Last Week's Risk Roundtable Meetings

Last week, Risk Roundtable sessions were held in Los Angeles and San Francisco. Many thanks to O'Melveny & Myers and Cooley for hosting. Brian Lynch, chair of the Risk Roundtable Compliance Consortium, delivered a presentation updating attendees on current risk issues and trends, and moderated group discussion. He was joined by John Steele, publisher of the often-cited Legal Ethics Forum.

Brian kindly sent an update summarizing some of the group discussions at each event:
  • We recently held two educational and animated Risk Roundtable sessions in Los Angeles and San Francisco. And we were pleased to be joined by a mix of risk and IT representatives from many firms.
  • In Los Angeles, we spent our first hour discussing current risk trends and news in the US and the UK,  including lively discussion regarding the challenges associated with laterals and mergers. Healthy interaction all around as participants discussed their specific challenges and, in some cases, provided potential solutions for others. It proved once again to be an excellent forum for exchanging ideas and viewpoints. John Steele, legal ethics and risk management expert, walked us through a discussion of the hazards associated with non-standard terms and conditions (a/k/a Outside Counsel Guidelines). He reviewed a number of recent court decisions that highlight the power of effective contracting with clients. Many thanks to John for showing us the implications of defining the "client," delineating scope and jurisdiction when multiple firms and vendors are involved, and the reach of exceptional terms.
  • In San Francisco, an excellent session brought together new and familiar faces. Brad Hise, Assistant General Counsel at at O'Melveny & Myers spoke about the challenges of lateral hires. John Steele was on hand again to discuss client contracting and how the Dupont Model has organized in-house counsel to generate common approaches. He encouraged law firms to come together and do the same. Finally, Rebecca Buchanan at Cooley shared some of their approaches with engagement letter management and other risk mitigation strategies
The next Risk Roundtable session is currently scheduled for London in May.

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