PLAYING SOFTBALL? -  As’s Hugo Guzman reports, a new study from Wolters Kluwer found that many legal departments do a pitiful job negotiating outside counsel rates—with companies in the financial and banking industries being the big exception. In fact, report author Nathan Cemenska said many legal departments “do not even attempt to exercise any central control, but decentralize rate negotiations out to in-house counsel, many of whom lack the skills, gumption, desire and/or temperament to take an arm’s-length tone in rate negotiations—with results that are all too predictable.” But wait—aren’t a lot of in-house lawyers specifically trained in the art of negotiation? Yes, but as Jason Winmill, managing partner of the legal department consulting firm Argopoint, pointed out: “[N]egotiation takes on a different tenor when you’re sitting across from an external partner whose collaboration you rely on for critical support.”

ON THE RADAR  - Simpson Thacher & Bartlett counseled the Royal Bank of Canada, Mizuho Bank Ltd. and PNC Bank NA, acting as joint lead arrangers and underwriters, in connection with EQT Corp.’s $2.5 billion unsecured bridge and term loan facility. Concurrently, Simpson Thacher also represented, RBC Capital Markets, Mizuho Securities USA and PNC Capital Markets, acting as underwriters, in connection with EQT’s $500 million in aggregate note offering. The Simpson Thacher team included partners Jonathan Ozner and Brandan Still. Counsel information for EQT Corp., which is based Pittsburg, was not immediately available. Stay up on the latest deals and litigation with the new   



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