PROFESSIONAL OPPORTUNITIES – Many large law firms have entered Chicago over the past two years, including through mergers and acquisitions. And the experience of Crowell & Moring, which entered the city a year ago through a merger with intellectual property firm Brinks Gilson & Lione, underscores that law firms are capturing new work in the city by expanding relationships with clients of legacy firms or groups they have acquired. , reports Andrew Maloney. “I think our greatest potential for growth is with existing customers,” said Gus Siller, former president of Brinks and now co-chairman of Crowell’s technology and intellectual property department. “And Crowell and the old Brinks had big customers in the Chicago market. Crowell had customers in the Chicago market that Brinks didn’t, so we’re looking to grow our customers in both directions. Developing relationships with existing clients is a common way for companies to grow, said Kent Zimmermann, a law firm management consultant who advised the Crowell-Brinks merger. And when merger talks get interesting, it’s often because “each of the companies is starting to seek out and identify the opportunities they’re leaving on the table to serve their own customers.”
BLURRED LINES – For a growing number of in-house lawyers, the line between the personal and the professional has become as blurred as the answer to this seemingly simple question: Should in-house lawyers take a public stand on controversial social issues? “The question itself reflects the changing nature of the General Counsel role. It goes beyond legal and compliance advice to truly be a broad advisor to the company and the CEO,” said Eric Greenberg, executive vice president, general counsel and corporate secretary of Atlanta-based Cox Media Group. The debate over whether legal department chiefs should step in on hot topics isn’t new, reports Phillip Bantz, but it recently intensified when in-house lawyers reacted on social media to the decision of the United States Supreme Court in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s. Health Organization, which overturned Roe v. Wade and ended federal abortion rights.