CORPORATE COUNSEL SURVEY

  • Nov 20, 2017
    What keeps in-house counsel up at night

    What keeps in-house counsel up at night

    Jean-Francois Denis, a huge baseball fan, says his favourite book — Moneyball: The Art of Winning an Unfair Game by Michael Lewis — is not just a book about baseball.

    “It’s a business book,” Denis, director of operations, legal affairs with SNC-Lavalin in Montreal, explains, calling relying on statistics and working with economists and lawyers to develop a good baseball team fascinating.

  • Nov 14, 2016
    Fee discussions shift from AFAs to value

    Fee discussions shift from AFAs to value

    The Annual Canadian Lawyer Corporate Counsel Survey found the use of AFAs has declined from last year, but experimentation continues.

    As in-house counsel continue to experiment with alternative fee arrangements, there has been a shift toward looking more at overall value — whatever fee arrangement is ultimately used.

  • Nov 16, 2015
    Testing the AFA waters

    Testing the AFA waters

    If it seems like everywhere you go these days someone is talking about alternative fee arrangements, you’re not alone. It’s been a popular topic at legal conferences and workshops for a few years now, but have they really taken off? And what exactly is an AFA — do flat fees or discounts count?

    David Felicissimo is one general counsel who wonders that a lot. Last year, he completed an executive education certificate at Harvard Law School where AFAs were a frequent topic of conversation among his colleagues. As the “only legal officer” in a growing Montreal private investment company, Felicissimo works for an organization that specializes in the acquisition and development of Internet-based businesses — their assets are on the web and their audience is worldwide. His very new-economy company still does a lot of work with external counsel based on the old billable hour.

    “It’s a topic we talk about often when I speak to other general counsel,” says Felicissimo, general counsel at Valnet Inc. “At Valnet, we’re still using the billable hour with our primary firm in Canada — we have a great relationship with them and we’ve been working with them for eight years.”