ROOM FOR IMPROVEMENT – Am Law 100 office space is nowhere near as efficient as it could be, with an average square foot per attorney ratio that is “still relatively high,” despite firms’ attempts over decades to improve their use of space, according to the Savills 2023 Benchmarking Report. As Law.com’s Brenda Sapino Jeffreys reports, the average efficiency among Am Law 100 offices is 985 square feet per attorney, which is higher than the 500-750 sf/atty many firms use as a target occupancy rate. Firms in the Am Law 25 are “somewhat more efficient,” the report said, with 30% of offices at 750 sf/atty or less, but only 24% of the rest of the Am Law 100 at that level. However, the report suggests the square footage numbers are likely higher than they could be, because offices are not fully occupied, and if offices are not used, the square footage to attorney ratio increases despite the efficiency of the office. It should also be noted that the report does not specify whether all those offices are empty because people are busy collaborating and innovating in the common areas.
WHAT’S IN A NAME? – The chief legal officer title sounds loftier, but, as Law.com’s Trudy Knockless reports, some GCs actually have broader responsibilities. And while companies continue to create CLO roles, the growth is slowing. Hirings with the “chief legal officer” title surged 72% from 2019 through 2022, according to a LinkedIn study of more than 500,000 hirings. But it climbed just 3% in 2022, the final year of that three-year span—a sign that the corporate trend of upgrading the top legal title from general counsel to CLO is slowing, the study found. Recruiters, in-house counsel and other legal observers say the (seemingly) highfalutin CLO title became fashionable in part to reflect legal chiefs’ evolution into trusted advisers for the entire business, rather than strictly experts on legal matters. But, at most companies, the title really isn’t the point, said Craig Gatarz, who joined the artificial intelligence company Veritone as chief legal officer a year ago. “To me, the portfolio is much more important than the title,” he said.
ON THE RADAR – GlaxoSmithKline and Teva Pharmaceutical were slapped with an antitrust class action Tuesday in Pennsylvania Eastern District Court over Lamictal tablets products. The suit contends that the defendants orchestrated to delay generic competition for Lamictal, a prescription drug used to treat epilepsy, bipolar disorder and other medical conditions, by GlaxoSmithKline agreeing not to launch a less expensive authorized generic version of the drug in competition with Teva. Counsel have not yet appeared for the defendants. The complaint was filed by Berger Montague; Garwin Gerstein & Fisher and other plaintiff firms. The case is 2:23-cv-00480, Morris & Dickson Co., L.L.C. v. Glaxosmithkline LLC et al. Stay up on the latest deals and litigation with the new Law.com Radar.
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