Crafty Counsel

The art of building a relationship: In-house counsel & law firms

Posted 4 months ago

Simon Dodds • Shearman & Sterling

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“Email has got to be just about the worst form of communication ever devised… If somebody picked up the telephone or, God forbid, met somebody in person, those misunderstandings would never have happened.”

Simon Dodds, Of-Counsel at Shearman & Sterling, talks to Crafty Counsel’s Ben White about what it takes to build the best possible relationship between in-house counsel and law firms. Simon shares some of the insights he has acquired from an extensive career, including 27 years at Deutsche Bank and its predecessor, Bankers Trust Company. Simon was most recently Co-General Counsel at Deutsche Bank before moving to his current role at Shearman & Sterling.

“The in-house lawyer isn’t there to give advice. He’s there to make decisions, and help make decisions. Very often, outside lawyers are worried about that… But if you can’t engage with the decision-making process, your utility is much more limited.”

“Very often, when you do have a problem around things that have not gone so well, it tends be that the communication between inside lawyer and outside lawyer has not been as good as it should be.

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