The Reemergence of Specialty Law Firms

Big law firm headquarters.

A recent Wall Street Journal article, “Big Law Firm Mergers Questioned,” raises some important issues to consider when hiring coverage counsel.  As noted in the article, “[l]arge companies tend to use a mix of firms for their legal work, ranging from small boutiques to name-brand Wall Street firms.”  Although the article does not expressly address the hiring of insurance coverage counsel, it raises some important considerations.

As stated by John Schultz, General Counsel of Hewlett-Packard Co., “when I talk to my colleagues, we are all still fairly much aligned on the idea that we hire lawyers, not law firms.”  The consensus opinion is that lawyer quality matters far more than overall law firm size and geographic reach.   Although efficiencies may be achieved by large law firms in situations where a company is defending lawsuits in multiple jurisdictions, quality and reputation of the individual lawyers matters most. (more…)