In-house attorneys dish on investigations hurdles and clashes with law firms

Earlier this month, Logikcull assembled a group of corporate counsel to discuss challenges they face when dealing with regulatory investigations, and to offer solutions for how those challenges can be overcome. Much of the conversation focused on their at times dicey push-pull with outside counsel as they work together to promptly respond to investigators, while managing costs responsibly and protecting sensitive company data.

The participants — a diverse mix of about 20 in-house attorneys and compliance offers from fast-growing technology companies and established serial litigants — spoke candidly about:

Fear of sharing sensitive data with law firms (“For a law firm, security and IT people are deadwood. They’re not incentivized to invest in that at all.”)

Negotiating fee structures that don’t produce eye-popping bills (““Everybody says they fly spec the bills, but I don’t know anyone who really does. You often look at the bottom number and say, ‘That looks about right.’ You have other stuff to do with your day.”)

Working with investigators to reduce scope and burden (“With outside counsel, I look for their ability to pick up the phone, have a conversation and find out what the investigator is really going after.”)

Guarding against emerging cloud risks  (“It used to be that, when people sent emails with attachments, that was the version of the document we had. Now it’s a link to the Google Doc — and that Google Doc version may have been revised 20 different times. We’re just waiting for the regulators to figure out that all that revision history is still there.”)

Specifically, participants advised that:

  • Companies must balance value and reputation when selecting outside counsel
  • Hiring internal investigators can yield huge cost savings for highly regulated companies
  • Vetting security of outside firms is still rare, despite breaches
  • When negotiating investigation scope with regulators, the devil is in the details, and,
  • Due to privilege issues and others, the cloud is a double-edged sword.

To learn more about how in-house teams are effectively managing investigations, and where they’re running into major obstacles, download the whitepaper featuring key takeaways and quotes from practitioners in the trenches below.

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