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Fighting the Trojan Horse: Managing Outside Counsel Guidelines

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If there is one thing keeping law firm general counsel awake at night, it is the myriad of outside counsel guidelines (OCGs) that may be floating around the firm. OCGs are documents sent by the client (generally, large corporate clients and insurers) to the lawyer setting forth various terms of the engagement. These OCGs differ from client to client, may be dozens or hundreds of pages in length and, as shown below, may incorporate requirements that the firm cannot meet. Moreover, many firm lawyers treat the OCGs in a cavalier manner, neglecting either to read them or to send them to their firm’s general counsel.  Even where the firm requires review and approval of OCGs as part of its client intake process, the firm may fail to keep track of the precise terms to which it has agreed with and specific client, or may fail to follow up to ensure that each OCG is followed.

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