Globalization and the Changing Role of General Counsel: Current Trends and Future Scenarios

Sako, Mari (2017) Globalization and the Changing Role of General Counsel: Current Trends and Future Scenarios. In: Jacob, Kai, Schindler, Dierk and Strathausen, Roger, (eds.) Liquid Legal - Transforming Legal into a Business Savvy, Information Enabled and Performance Driven Industry. Management for Professionals . Springer, Cham, pp. 33-46. ISBN 978-3319458670


Globalization and digital technology have transformed the role of general counsel in the past few decades. This chapter presents a series of studies to explain in what ways the general counsel has transformed the in-house legal function and its relationships with law firms. In response to demands to deliver more legal work for less cost, corporate legal departments have either internalized or externalized legal work. Evidence from Fortune 500 companies reveal that internalizing corporations have more intangible assets (such as brands and intellectual property) to defend, and are more international in their presence. Moreover, companies that externalize legal resources have developed more stable relationships with fewer law firms, each providing legal services in a broader range of practice areas. As corporate clients enhance their international presence, particularly in newer emerging markets, some of them are finding the global mandate of large law firms, which are far less international than other professional service firms in accounting and consulting, less than satisfactory. The chapter concludes by briefly laying out four possible future scenarios in global legal services markets. We identify under what circumstances the corporate legal department is likely to grow and remain powerful in relation to external providers of legal services.

Item Type: Book Section
Keywords: Future scenarios, General counsel, Global corporations, Global law firms, Sourcing strategy (internalizer; externalizer), international business, professional services
Subject(s): International business
Date Deposited: 24 Aug 2017 08:18
Last Modified: 07 Dec 2018 11:25
Funders: N/A

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