The in-house-external-counsel relationship is typically a dance between two: the law firm partner and the general counsel. But partners frequently bypass in-house teams to pursue a separate connection with the CEO—a move that infuriates both GCs and CEOs.

“To go over the heads of GCs is just bad practice”, one retailer GC said, recalling several instances of this taking place with their external firms. They added it was “happening all the time.”

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