Coca-Cola Company, Ivor Longo Counsel, Patents, March 2008
Q: If you think about your best relationships with outside counsel over time, what are the top three things other lawyers could learn from them?
A: 1. Fast response is essential. 2. Outside counsel need to approach each matter with a business eye. The time that they spend on the matter needs to be related to the value of the matter to the business. 3. Don’t forget rule # 1.
Q: And, of course, the followup: what are the top three things that lawyers could learn from your least successful relationships with outside counsel over the years?
A: 1. Get back to the client immediately. 2. Make sure that your work adds value. to the business as much as possible. 3. Don’t be afraid to deliver bad news.
Q: What’s the smartest thing a lawyer or a law firm has ever done for you outside of doing great legal work?
A: Identified a business opportunity/acquisition.
Q: And, no need to name names, but what’s the story of the “least helpful” thing a lawyer or a law firm has ever done for you?
A: Billed more on litigation than we were seeking from the other party.
Q: Are there any client service or business development trends you’re seeing among law firms that you think are headed in the right direction?
A: I haven’t seen much new from law firms in years.
Q: Are there other law firm trends that you’re seeing that you’d like to come to a screeching halt?
A: Lawyers are making way too much money and billing companies for way too much. Lawyers do very little, if anything, to increase the pie.
Q: Have you ever fired a major provider of legal services or have you ever had internal suggestions that you should fire a major provider?
Q: Would it have been helpful if somebody other than the relationship partner proactively requested your feedback and then acted on it, perhaps annually?
Q: What is your favorite CocaCola product?
A: Odwalla Superfood.