The New York Times had an interesting article today on Google and the use of its legal group to advance key strategic objectives.
What’s rare about this article is the access that Google granted to many inside counsel. The headline “We’re Google, So Sue Us” is not really borne out with the tone of these responses. An example:
Michael Kwun, a senior litigation counsel at Google, agreed that â€œthe Geico case was very important.â€ Mr. Kwun said that establishing a body of precedent was a priority for Google, especially as legal interpretations continued to evolve. â€œIf we donâ€™t at least litigate to the point where we get rulings on the issues that matter to us, weâ€™re left with less clarity in the law,â€ he said.
Google is a prime example of a company on the cutting edge of technology and commerce that relies heavily on its own lawyers. While outside counsel are no doubt heavily involved, no company should completely outsource its legal function when it comes to principles of law that drive top-line revenue and protect intellectual property.
And given the hiring binge Google is on, this approach seems attractive to potential new employees, as the Wall Street Journal reported today.