general counsel
general counsel

Clients Look to ALSPs, Flexible Lawyering: ‘Traditional Service From Law Firms Doesn’t Cut It Anymore’

In the 16 years since he founded Lawyers on Demand, Simon Harper has seen several waves of change across the legal industry as general counsel have grown more comfortable working with alternative legal service providers. The past six months have represented the latest significant shift. 

On the heels of the pandemic, Harper said, “We’re seeing demand driven by something different. Legal teams are thinking more strategically about how they source what they’re doing, less about pure growth in head count and more about how to efficiently get their legal work done.”

In-House Insights International LogoCoupled with the vanishing of secondments, a rise in the quality of attorneys available through services such as Lawyers on Demand and a need for increased adaptability inside legal departments, the result is more work shifting from law firms to alternative providers, according to general counsel and industry observers.

For William Bowes, general counsel of Condé Nast, the rise in flexible lawyering has been driven in recent years by the growing need for flexibility elsewhere within a legal department. In-house attorneys are being asked to quickly learn and apply new skills, respond to rapidly changing regulations and adapt to flexible working conditions.

“Because we need to operate in a quicker way—a different way—the demands on us are evolving rapidly and the traditional service you’d get from a law firm just doesn’t cut it anymore,” Bowes said. “The traditional service providers are thinking in traditional ways, and they’re always inevitably behind the way that people in-house are being asked to work.”

That makes it all the more valuable to have access to people thinking in new ways about legal service delivery, automation and cost models, he said. When he began working with Lawyers on Demand about a decade ago, Bowes wanted an ALSP to allow him to escape from

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Legal Services Company Launches Arizona Law Firm

Welcome to Bloomberg Law’s Wake Up Call, a daily rundown of the top news for lawyers, law firms, and in-house counsel.

  • Flexible lawyer services company Axiom launched an Arizona law firm, Axiom Advice & Counsel, after the state supreme court granted the subsidiary a license to practice under 2020 rules allowing nonlawyer owners of law firms. Axiom is the latest of several alternative legal services companies to set up in the state, including Law on Call and LegalZoom, among others. (counsel-aac-301727312.html”
  • K&L Gates grabbed a seven-partner private equity team from Dentons LLP’s Pittsburgh office. They include partners Chris Thel, Ron Aulbach, Curt Anderson, John Wingerter, Lauren Crossett, Andrea Steiner, and Jeff Berkey. (
  • Donald Trump hired criminal defense trial lawyer Joe Tacopina to take on former Manhattan prosecutor Mark Pomerantz for allegedly defaming the former president. Tacopina, a senior partner of a New York boutique firm, has defended clients including embattled Washington Commanders co-owner Dan Snyder, rapper Meek Mill, and Fox News host Sean Hannity. (TMZ)

Lawyers, Law Firms

  • Recent changes to Florida’s trust laws have made the state increasingly attractive to the private trusts of ultra-wealthy families and the Big Law firms that advise them. (Daily Business Reviews)
  • A New York state bill would prohibit Madison Square Gardens Entertainment Corp. and other sports venues from refusing entry to opposing lawyers in litigation and other perceived enemies. (Associated Press)
  • Dechert’s new Paris offices in the city’s Eighth arrondissement occupy three floors of an “iconic” eight-story building that formerly housed the headquarters of the broadcasting company RTL. ( International)

Laterals, Moves, In-house

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‘Raise legal aid’: Wales’s message to Westminster | News

The Welsh government will tell Westminster to increase civil legal aid funding, the general counsel has revealed, following a visit to the only law center in Wales.

Mick Antoniw, general counsel and minister for the constitution, and Jane Hutt, minister for social justice, visited the Speakeasy Law Center in Cardiff this week.

In an announcement today, Antoniw said: ‘The Speakeasy Law Center is providing a valuable service. I welcome the chance to hear how it is helping people. High-quality legal advice can prevent issues from spiraling and becoming more serious, and I encourage people across Wales to take advantage of the support available to them if they need it.’


Today’s announcement states that despite many areas of justice not being devolved, the Welsh Government’s single advice fund, introduced in January 2020, supports advice services across Wales with around £11m a year, helping to support services like Speakeasy Law Centre.

So far, the fund has supported 144,000 people to deal with more than 660,000 social welfare problems, helped people to claim £83m of additional income, and write off debts worth more than £23m, the announcement states.

Antoniw said: ‘Information and advice services are even more important because of the sweeping real-terms cuts to legal aid over the last decade, which is putting access to advice out of reach for more and more people and increasing the burden on volunteers. We will be stressing the importance of information and specialist advice services, and the need to increase levels of funding, in the upcoming UK government review of civil legal aid.’

Speakeasy Law Center was set up in 1992 and is currently the only law center in Wales. However, work is well underway to set up a law center in Llandudno Junction, North Wales.

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Alternative Legal Services Market Tops $20 Billion

Welcome to Bloomberg Law’s Wake Up Call, a daily rundown of the top news for lawyers, law firms, and in-house counsel.

  • The market for alternative legal services grew 45% in the two fiscal years through 2021 to reach $20.6 billion in revenues, as law firms and corporate legal departments increased their use of them, according to a new report. Independent providers at about $18 billion in revenues and the Big Four accounting firms, at $1.5 billion, still lead the market, but so-called law firm captive units are growing the fastest as a segment, the report said. (Thomson Reuters)
  • Husch Blackwell’s liability insurance is covering the $62 million awards the firm recently got tagged with by an arbitration panel over its representation of an engineering firm whose bid on Kansas City, Missouri’s airport construction failed. That’s according to a report citing an internal email sent by the firm‘s leaders. (Above The Law)
  • Twitter Inc.’s former chief legal officer Vijaya Gadda and deputy general counsel James Bakerboth fired by Elon Musk, are slated to testify next week to a House committee. The committee is investigating the social media platform’s handling of reports on President Joe Biden’s son, Hunter Biden. (Associated Press)
  • Houston police said two people who died in a murder-suicide last week were both associates at law firms. One of them was at Chamberlain Hrdlicka. (Houston Chronicle)

Lawyers, Law Firms

  • New Jersey federal courts are starting to make a headway on case backlogs that piled up during the pandemic. Some attorneys think the district still needs more judges. (New Jersey Law Journal)
  • A Texas judge ruled that Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton must face an ethics lawsuit by state attorney regulators over a case Paxton filed challenging results
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‘Cautiously optimistic’: Attorneys say inflation is causing banks, clients to ‘sharpen pencils,’ but projects, investments moving ahead

(IL illustration/Brad Turner)

Over the past two years, economic conditions have impacted it seems every Hoosier debtor and creditor.

From multimillion-dollar capital projects to small business and home loans, finance and banking attorneys have stayed busy working with their clients and banks to keep up with inflation challenges.

According to an analysis by US Bank released Jan. 17, the cost-of-living, as measured by the Consumer Price Index, rose 7% for 2021. That was the highest calendar-year reading since 1981 and sharply contrasted with the trend over the past 40 years, when inflation averaged 2% to 3% annually.

In 2022, inflation continued rising at historic levels.

US Bank found that during the 12-month period ending in June, the CPI rose 9.1% — the largest inflation spike for a 12-month period since November 1981.

The CPI had lowered to 6.5% by the end of 2022 and is now showing a more favorable trend, but the elevated interest rates prompted by the Federal Reserve have continued to cause concern.

Between interest rates, labor shortages, supply chain issues, the ongoing war in Ukraine and the aftereffects of COVID-19, debtors and creditors are facing some uncertainties, attorneys say.

At the same time, lawyers say there isn’t evidence that the current economic downturn will have the same ramifications as the Great Recession, and their work is as busy as ever as deals are still being closed.

Projects still moving forward

Joshua Christie

Josh Christie, a partner in Ice Miller’s Business Group, works on mergers and acquisitions, corporate transactions, joint ventures, commercial agreements, general corporate matters and financing transactions, among other practices.

Christie said his clients — particularly those in real estate and construction — and banks were being more cautious before closing deals, but not due to the rising cost of money.

Rather, he said

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J.Crew recruits new top lawyer from rival American Eagle Outfitters

A J. Crew store logo is pictured on a building along the Lincoln Road Mall in Miami Beach, Florida March 17, 2016. REUTERS/Carlo Allegri

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  • Stacy Siegal has joined J.Crew as chief legal officer
  • Clothing retailer emerged from bankruptcy in September 2020

(Reuters) – J.Crew Group Inc has hired longtime retail company attorney Stacy Siegal away from American Eagle Outfitters Inc to be its new top lawyer, according to a Monday statement.

J. Crew said Siegal will be chief legal officer and corporate secretary of the New York-based company, reporting to CEO Libby Wadle.

Siegal said she is Replacing J. Crew’s interim general counsel, Peter Damiano, who will remain at the company.

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A J. Crew spokesperson declined to comment beyond the statement. An American Eagle spokesperson didn’t immediately comment on Siegal’s departure on Monday.

J.Crew filed for bankruptcy protection in May 2020 after the COVID-19 pandemic triggered temporary store closures of its nearly 500 J.Crew, J.Crew Factory outlets and Madewell stores. A bankruptcy judge approved the clothing company’s reorganization plan in August 2020.

Siegal joined American Eagle Outfitters as general counsel in 2016, according to her LinkedIn bio, which says she also oversaw human resources and communications functions at the company. She previously served in top legal roles for teen apparel retailer rue21 LLC.

J.Crew was sued in December by a former top lawyer, Maria DiLorenzo. She accused the company in a Manhattan federal court complaint of forcing her to work through medical leave after she suffered hearing loss, and then illegally firing her.

A J. Crew spokesperson declined to comment on the litigation Monday. The company said in a statement provided by a spokesperson in December the allegations lacked merit.

Court records

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