Back in July, a group of general counsel, along with GC-led organization AdvanceLaw, revealed that they are engaged in an innovative project, measuring data from across several thousand legal matters to learn more about what works and what doesn’t in relationships between in-house counsel and their outside attorneys.
The announcement of the GC Thought Leaders Experiment, along with the release of an open letter from a group of 25 general counsel at major companies who are among those participating in the project, generated a great deal of buzz. Now, those interested in hearing more from participating legal department leaders and getting a look at some of the project’s early results, can tune in for a new webinar from AdvanceLaw.
The one-hour webinar, titled, “GC Thought Leaders Experiment—Early Observations,” will take place on Thursday at 12 p.m. ET. Those interested in attending can register here. The webinar will feature a panel of prominent in-house leaders: Wanji Walcott, general counsel of Paypal, Scott Offer, general counsel of Flex Ltd., Lee Reichert, deputy general counsel of Molson Coors and Bill Deckelman, general counsel of DXC Technology Co.
According to Firoz Dattu, founder and chief executive officer of AdvanceLaw, the webinar will share some high-level or preliminary findings from the GC Thought Leaders Experiment, which started in early 2017, and is slated to last a total of 18 months. During the session, he said, the general counsel will largely do the talking.
“I think it’s best for everyone to hear directly from the general counsel, themselves. We’ll present a few high-level findings, but the bulk of the webinar is devoted to GCs sharing their own perspectives and experiences,” Dattu said in an email interview. “The findings aren’t as helpful without that context. In a way, the GCs will help us go from the ‘what’ to the ‘now what,’—as in what can law firms and in-house legal teams do now, to drive even stronger relationships and outcomes.”
The webinar promises to touch on a few key topics, said Dattu, including the effectiveness of law firm panels and convergence, as well as whether flat fees affect quality as well as just cost. It will also look at whether companies must choose between cost and quality when selecting outside counsel.
“At the risk of scooping the webinar, I’ll say that we’ve been surprised by some of the early findings around law firm panels,” noted Dattu. “It’s not exactly what we expected to find. It’s also been interesting to see what the relationship is between cost and quality. It could be that the best lawyers not only provide top quality and achieve great outcomes, but know how to be efficient, and not over-lawyer. But we’ll see what the data shows.”
According to Dattu, the sharing of information from the experiment won’t stop after Thursday’s webinar. More findings and insights from the project are due to be released over the next several months, and the plan is to publically share a final set of charts and slides at the end of the experiment, so others can benefit from the data gathered and analyzed.