"Dan Carroll receives nearly a dozen phone calls and e-mails every week from one of his biggest clients. Raising complicated questions about everything from liability matters to ethics issues, the client can be demanding. Fortunately, however, Carroll is highly motivated to help this particular client thrive. After all, it’s his own 115-lawyer firm.
"The Sacramento-based Downey Brand is just one among an increasing number of law firms around the country that are pulling lawyers away from revenue-generating work to serve as general counsel. More than two-thirds of the top 200 law firms in the United States now have a designated in-house general counsel, according to a recent survey conducted by Altman Weil, the legal consulting company.
"’This is reflective of larger law firm recognition of the need for risk management in our post-Enron, Sarbanes-Oxley environment,’ says Ward Bower, a principal at Altman Weil. ‘These are billion-dollar law firms and it’s hard to imagine a billion-dollar company not having a designated GC. They’ve got a whole host of legal issues that any business of comparable size would have.’"