Peabody Energy Corp. and Husch Blackwell have been working together for well over a decade. But that didn’t mean the firm was a shoo-in when Peabody’s legal chief issued a request for proposals last year as part of the process of building a new panel of outside firms.

Peabody’s chief legal officer Verona Dorch, who leads a department of 35 legal and government affairs professionals, had a certain set of criteria in mind when the St. Louis-based company examined various law firms throughout the country—and she expected every firm to take those expectations seriously. 

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