Tyco announced today that counsel for legal matters relating to Europe, the Middle East, and Africa (EMEA) will move from 250 law firms to one, Eversheds.
At the same time, Tyco is “reorganizing” its in-house legal team, although no details were provided.
According to Trevor Faure, Tyco’s EMEA General Counsel:
Under this model, the department is managed by senior lawyers with responsibility for a specific business segment in the region, regional lawyers who report to them and provide the local law and language expertise across segments, and external resources who are dedicated, full-time Eversheds lawyers to ensure broad geographic coverage and an ongoing link with the Eversheds parent firm.
Some of the features of this arrangement include these in EMEA countries:
— A 24 x 7 x 365 multi-lingual legal hotline.
— Local language and business expertise in contracts, employment, compliance, environmental health and safety, major litigation, intellectual property, and general corporate matters.
— Contract automation, business process redesign, and a legal extranet integrated into Tyco’s business by Eversheds (to facilitate online reporting and invoicing).
— Fixed and risk-sharing fee structures, as well as predictable, fixed fees allocated based on business size and complexity.
— Full-time, dedicated Eversheds lawyers in the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Italy, the Middle East, Poland, Benelux, and South Africa linked to the regional teams.
Three quick reactions:
1. Tyco is clearly trying to push the envelope on the mix of inside/outside legal services, driven by business demands.
2. Eversheds shows innovation in a legal market that sometimes acts like an Etch-A-Sketch is cutting edge.
3. Outsourcing of legal services doesn’t always mean going from law firms to new service providers. Law departments aren’t immune, either.
Hopefully we will learn more about this arrangement from the principals.