In-House Counsel

Among ACC's Value Champs, Pfizer's 'Radical' Plan: Standardized Expectations, Law Firm Collaboration


When the Association of Corporate Counsel announced its list of Value Champions last month, certain characteristics, such as the ability to keep costs down and alternative billing arrangements, were commonplace.

But some corporate legal departments tried unusual approaches, including one that assistant general counsel Ellen Rosenthal of Pfizer Inc. described as “radical,” Corporate Counsel reports.

Under a several-year-old program known as the Pfizer Legal Alliance, the company standardized expectations for a streamlined group of about 20 outside law firms and set up programs for helping outside counsel work more closely and collaboratively both with Pfizer and with each other.

As detailed in an ACC press release (PDF), those who participate agree to standardized fixed-fee billing arrangements, secondments in which law firm attorneys work at Pfizer, periodic meetings and workshops involving all the law firms and a standardized system of evaluating performance on legal matters.

Related coverage:

ABA Journal: “Kill Bill: At Pfizer, Mum’s the Billable Word”

ABAJournal.com: “New ACC ‘Value Index’ Helps Clients Rate—And Share—Law Firm Performance Info”

Legal Rebels: “Lawyer Comp: The Third Rail of Legal Value Conversations (Part II)”

Corporate Counsel: “ACC Reveals Its List of In-House Value Champions”

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