FOUL LINES - The New York Mets’ dismissal of GC David Cohen and HR head Holly Lindvall in response to allegations of sexual harassment and other misbehavior within the organization highlight in-house counsel’s responsibility to help drive company culture, including setting clear behavioral boundaries and fostering an environment where those boundaries are respected, Law.com’s Phillip Bantz reports. Rob Chesnut, former GC and chief ethics officer for Airbnb Inc., said he views Cohen’s firing as part of an “increasing sign that if you’re the GC of a company, you’ve got a responsibility to develop not only a check-the-box approach with compliance but also ensure that there’s a culture within the organization that does the right thing.”
BECOMING CENTERED - Fox Rothschild’s recent move to reduce support staff and reorganize those remaining into firmwide support hubs was far from the first in Big Law, and it won’t be the last, Law.com’s Justin Henry reports. Fifteen months of remote work have made many firms realize that their support teams are overstaffed. Now, an emerging model is taking shape among Am Law 100 firms in which nonlegal support needs are being reallocated to practice assistants, allowing highly skilled legal secretaries to handle the more specialized work. These teams could support as many as 40 or 50 attorneys, said Mark Santiago, a partner at law firm consulting company SB2 Consultants, who has worked with roughly a half-dozen Am Law 50 firms on staffing realignment. “People are looking at the support services they’ve had for years and years and saying ‘We do a lot of stuff that we don’t need to do,’ and I think COVID has highlighted a lot of that,” Santiago said.