Adams and Reese Partner Lucian Pera served as moderator of a recent seminar, “Lawyers’ Professional Responsibilities and Liabilities from Clients' Perspective,” during the 2014 Aon Law Firm Symposium in Chicago. The seminar was covered in the article, “Corporate Insiders Value Loyalty From Outside Counsel,” published in Bloomberg’s Corporate Counsel Weekly.
Pera asked the panelists whether they have any concerns about how well the law firms representing their companies are protecting their confidential information.
Loyalty and knowing when to have a telephone conversation are key for outside counsel to stay in the good graces of corporate general counsel and out of the “penalty box,” panelists David Hecker and Arthur Simon said. Hecker is general counsel of the infrastructure group for Peter Kiewit Sons' Inc. in Omaha, Neb., a construction, mining and engineering company. Simon is general counsel for William Blair & Co., a global investment banking and asset management firm headquartered in Chicago.
While working on a matter, Hecker said, outside counsel often “learn more about our business than what they've been retained for. When we hear that come back to us from another source, we know they're not keeping shop talk to themselves” but instead are talking about company affairs with other lawyers and “leveraging” company information with other clients. “What goes on in the tent should stay in the tent,” he said.