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Title: Vice President and General Counsel Location: Houston Age: 49 Dollars and Sense Years ago, Jeffrey W. Carr was told that he was not law firm partner material. It was devastating, but it gave him a good reason to leave the firm and start his own company, which in turn led him back to the law. “I learned that I didn’t like the business of law. At my core, I am a lawyer, but more importantly a counselor,” Carr says of his five years forming and running International Advisory Services Group. Since then, he has thrived as an in-house resource to FMC Corp. and then FMC Technologies when it spun off in 2001. FMC provides mission-critical technology for the energy, food processing and air transportation industries. “We had a chance when we split the company in two to select our chief legal counsel. [Carr] was clearly the one we thought was the best to pick,” says Joseph H. Netherland, FMC Technologies’ chairman, president and CEO. Netherland emphasizes Carr’s youth, energy and pragmatism. Carr actually thought of several ways � even submitting a patent in one case � to creatively handle fee issues. In litigation, for example, cases dragged on forever, and costs were unpredictable. He decided the answer lay not in hourly fee discounts but in performance-based pay. “The product we want to buy is not hours. We want to buy representation. It’s a fundamental disconnect,” Carr says. To reconcile that, he decided to require the outside firms he uses to get some “skin in the game.” For example, one objective in litigation is rapid resolution. He created a sliding bonus system to pay firms more per hour for fewer hours. He has the firm give a target number of hours for a matter and plugs that into a spreadsheet. The faster the outside lawyers resolve a matter, the higher the bonus. “It unleashes the inherent plaintiff lawyer in every lawyer. It takes us out of the micromanagement of the case,” Carr says. His Alliance Counsel Engagement System (ACES) also works for nonlitigation matters. Carr says legal costs actually have stayed static since 2001, while law-firm rates have risen. In that same time, the company has grown from $2 billion to $3 billion in annual revenue. Carr also consolidated the legal department, a process begun by a former boss. When Carr started at FMC Technologies, he had 23 lawyers; he now has six, each assigned to a business unit. Mike Murray, vice president of administration and human resources, focuses on accountability more than dollars. “What Jeff has really done is hold our attorneys outside and inside to performance,” Murray says. Fundamental to that is the periodic report card the legal department issues to firms. They may not like it, but it’s backed by dollars, Carr says. “If we don’t tell them what to expect, how can we expect them to perform?”

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