Thursday, August 11, 2016

OCG "Shark" Week: The Final Bite (For Now...)

Mid-swim this week, a reader wrote in suggesting we retread some older waters and make sure to highlight some of the historical stories, articles and resources on OCGs we've covered over the years.

OCG Panel Webinar Recording: "Responding to Outside Counsel Guidelines" --
  • "In the past five years, outside counsel guidelines ("OCGs") have become more commonplace and more stringent. The legal services world has shifted, as corporations (and their law departments) are being held to stricter budget accountability and risk management standards. Law departments have, in turn, held their external counsel to these same higher standards. In many ways, clients have become the true regulators."
  • "In this session, panelists will explore the evolving OCG landscape and discuss how firms can negotiate and respond to outside counsel guidelines."
  • "Speakers: Gilda Russell - [now former] Ethics and Conflicts Counsel, Holland & Knight LLP, Mike Guernon - Director of New Business and Conflicts, Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP, Paul Hurdle - Senior Counsel, McKenna Long & Aldridge LLP [now Dentons]"

Past Articles & Updates:
  • "Dealing with Client Outside Counsel Guidelines and Other Non-Standard Client Engagement Terms" -- Gilda Russell:
    • "Consequently, firms should develop effective processes for dealing with OCG and client terms. These processes should focus on monitoring the avenues by which OCG and client terms come into firms as well as requiring review and approval of OCG and client terms by designated persons well versed in the subject matter of the provisions and related compliance issues."
  • "Hidden Compliance Threats to Outside Counsel Guidelines" -- Nancy Beauchemin:
    • "The first step a law firm needs to take to comply with outside counsel guidelines is to become aware that they exist. All too often, the attorney primarily responsible for the relationship with the corporate legal department will agree to the guidelines without first vetting the language with those individuals and departments within the firm that need to establish procedures and technology to comply with them."
  • "Some Corporate Clients Are Going Too Far With ‘Guidelines' for Counsel" -- Simon Chester:
    • "Chester said that while general counsel at his former firm, he assigned his summer associates to search the firm's document management system for outside counsel guideline packages. 'There were hundreds of them,' he stated. He said he and the firm's management team 'had no idea' of the extent to which his partners had agreed to those 'bombs waiting in our files' that 'were setting the terms and conditions for our interactions with our clients.'"
See you next week... (I've heard rumor of a plane carrying snakes...)

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