FOR WHAT IT’S WORTH - As client demand increases for Big Law’s services, so too does Big Law’s demand for clients’ money. As Law.com’s Dan Packel reports, law firms are looking to push aggressive rate increases in 2022, taking advantage the insanely busy market for M&A work. Firms have not appeared to have many qualms about jacking up rates in both 2020 and 2021 anyway. But industry observers believe there’s still room for more rate growth—even double-digit increases—particularly as firms seek a financial edge that can help them attract and retain top talent. “Industrywide, even though we’ve seen a significant increase in the past year, we’ll continue to see increases driven by significant demand,” said Munger, Tolles & Olson co-managing partner Hailyn Chen. “As much as clients grumble about it, people have continued to see strong realizations.”
GC YA LATER - Here’s a pickle for you: What do you do when it’s time to fire the GC, but the GC is usually the one who helps fire people? As Law.com’s Phillip Bantz reports, it’s every bit as complicated as it sounds. “A GC is typically at the point where they know all the company’s secrets,” said Robert Lian Jr., a partner at Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld in Washington, D.C., who focuses on complex labor and employment litigation and workplace investigations. “They know how prior separation agreements have gone. They know a company’s leverage points, because they’ve been intimately involved in navigating them. So there are a variety of issues that need to be considered when deciding whether you’re going to enter into an agreed separation or have this be a completely involuntary termination.” Meanwhile, there’s also the small matter of the GC being the head of the whole dang legal department. “You’ve been thinking about how you get the person out while messaging to the broader organization that things are not just stable but are going to be fine. But the messaging to the legal department is even more important,” said legal department consultant Jason Winmill. “You’re not just taking out an attorney. You’re taking out someone who leads a critical function for the company and that’s not just the same thing as firing some random employee.”
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