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Most innovative US in-house legal teams 2012

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QualcommMost innovative teamDon Rosenberg888832450Strategic IP DepartmentJoint teams of lawyers, engineers and business development experts are changing the way technology company Qualcomm operates, providing new ideas and reducing costs. The blend of experience and knowledge within the Strategic Intellectual Property Team has allowed the production of its own innovations which directly create a revenue stream.
CiscoStandoutMark Chandler878730300Driving internal legal efficiency through new inventionsContinuing its long history of innovation, the legal team at computer networking products maker Cisco is greatly improving time and cost efficiencies through the use of internal legal process outsourcing, saving roughly 54,877 attorney hours. The manner in which contracts are handled has been revolutionised through standardisation and digitising, reducing processing time from 23 to 4.86 days.
GlaxoSmithKlineStandoutDan Troy787729600Electronic reverse auction systemHaving devised an electronic reverse auction system, the GlaxoSmithKline legal team is driving cost and time efficiencies from its outside counsel, reducing its outside spend by $32.6m. As well as maintaining relationships with its outside counsel, pharmaceuticals group GSK is also taking steps to improve diversity through a scorecard system.
United Technologies Corporation (Litigation)StandoutSteven Greenspan678829300Comprehensive AFA adoptionThe United Technologies Corporation legal team has embraced the Six Sigma-style approach to process efficiency and developed its own method of cost reduction. When this is coupled with the comprehensive approach to alternative fee arrangements with outside counsel (71 per cent of total spend in 2011), UTC has improved efficiency and results.
FacebookStandoutTed Ullyot78672865An aggressive defence of a young businessFacebook's legal team has not only allowed the social networking company to continue to grow through the proactive defence of its products and IP against some of the largest companies in the industry, but has also worked with regulators on issues such as freedom of speech.
ZyngaStandoutReggie Davis77772831An inventive, aligned teamThe legal team at online games company Zynga has directly aligned itself with its business counterparts, and created a game to educate users on issues surrounding online privacy. The team has embraced the creative ethos of the company and continued to facilitate growth.
Bank of America CorporationHighly commendedIsvara Wilson77672715Embracing financial regulationThe legal team has overcome pressures from increased regulation of financial institutions by embracing the change and disseminating the knowledge clearly within the bank. The team is also working with regulators to help shape future changes.
IBMHighly commendedRobert Weber687627550Internal talent developmentThe legal team at technology company IBM is developing internal talent through rotation schemes and education programmes, so that lawyers will be experts in multiple areas of the business. The continued use of Legal Resource Centres has allowed emerging markets to be supported and enabled the creation of "virtual" teams around the world to defend against litigation.
Rockwell CollinsHighly commendedGary Chadic76772725Driving efficiencyDriving efficiency and reducing cost has been the predominant focus of the legal team at avionics and electronics company Rockwell Collins. Almost half (49 per cent) of outside counsel spend is now conducted on an alternative fee arrangement.
Southwestern Energy - V+ DivisionHighly commendedMark Boling57872710Shaping regulation for the energy sectorThe V+ Division of the Southwestern Energy legal team is taking a proactive approach to risk management for the whole energy industry. The division is leading regulation change in the drilling integrity of wells, and is pioneering investigations into water efficiencies and air emissions, aiming to shape the way in which the energy sector conducts its business.
AltriaCommendedDenise Keane77662647Diversity requirements for outside counselA broad and inclusive approach to diversity within tobacco company Altria's legal team has begun to change the composition of the outside counsel that work with it. The experiences that the legal team gain through the various diversity initiatives and the rotation of talent within the business have allowed lawyers to increase their knowledge and gain important roles within the wider business.
Bristol-Myers SquibbCommendedSandra Leung667726115Developing internal expertsThe legal team at pharmaceutical companty Bristol-Myers Squibb has generated the expertise necessary for high-profile mergers and acquisition work due to the training schemes that have been created for internal lawyers.
Caterpillar - Commercial SectionCommendedMichael Sposato66772690Lane strategy for cost managementHugely improved efficiency has been gained through a targeted "lane strategy" that has helped the commercial section of the legal division at infrastructure and equipment company Caterpillar to standardise its contract management system. This has brought a cost reduction of 9 per cent while handling a 45 per cent increase in workload.
MonsantoCommendedDavid F. Snively766726153Virtual litigation teamsThe legal team at agricultural company Monsanto has included itself in various legal battles concerning the legitimacy of genetically modified agricultural produce. In order to pool the most appropriate talent, "virtual" teams have been created to ensure the success of the cases, which are managed and led by the Monsanto general counsel.
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