BAD FOR BUSINESS - News of a six-person marketing team moving from Cooley to Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson has many in the legal industry saying this could be a bellwether of things to come, including more group moves of law firm business professionals. If so, law firms — if they want to keep their best talent in the staff ranks — will need to have a deeper understanding of what their marketing and other professionals want out of a work environment, industry observers told Law.com’s Patrick Smith. As it turns out, one thing they’d very much like is to not be treated like jerks. “There are certainly those who look on the business services people as second-class citizens,” said John Lamar, managing director at The Alexander Group, a consulting and recruiting firm. “And those are the ones that will find that they need to change their tune.” And make no mistake, that caste system persists at many firms. A marketing professional at one Am Law 100 firm told Smith that “being treated equally … goes a long way to feeling like you have a purpose and are not just a cog in a machine.” “When I saw attorneys being given stipends for office supplies during the pandemic and staff weren’t getting that … yes, the caste is alive and well,” they said.
OPS OPPORTUNITY - As legal tech has evolved from a niche market into one that large portions of the industry rely on, legal departments and law firms have taken different approaches to company-wide tech adoption. Now, a liaison between the two may be emerging. Earlier this month, global law firm Linklaters and its contract negotiation platform CreateiQ partnered with legal operations consultancy TLB in an effort to provide a “holistic approach” to serving clients’ needs—combining legal advice with tech solutions, according to the press release. While such partnerships have existed in other industries, they are new, and rare, at law firms. But not for long, consultants and legal experts told Law.com’s Isha Marathe. As clients’ legal needs evolve along with growing tech options, legal operations consultancies might be an ideal partner for law firms seeking to cater to a wider customer pool. Greg Baker, Linklaters’ global head of practice management, said such partnerships yield a two-way support system. “From working closely with our clients, it has become increasingly evident that the multi-faceted demands being placed on in-house legal teams are driving the need for outstanding legal advice to be delivered in combination with how best to structure their internal documents and processes,” Baker said. “This support is not just for their financing and M&A transactions, or providing regulatory and ESG-related guidance, but also on the implementation of processes and supporting technologies.”
ON THE RADAR - BP has agreed to acquire Archaea Energy for a total enterprise value of approximately $4.1 billion, including $800 million net debt. The transaction, announced Oct. 17, is expected to close by the end of 2022. London-based BP is advised by a Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer team led by partners Jenny Hochenberg and Ethan Klingsberg. Counsel information for Archaea Energy, based in Houston, was not immediately available. Stay up on the latest deals and litigation with the new Law.com Radar.
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