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Type: Journal article
Title: Keeping it in-house: Ethics in the relationship between large law firm lawyers and their corporate clients through the eyes of in-house counsel
Author: Le Mire, S.
Parker, C.
Citation: Legal Ethics, 2008; 11(2):201-229
Publisher: Hart Publishing Ltd
Issue Date: 2008
ISSN: 1460-728X
Statement of
Le Mire, Suzanne and Parker, Christine
Abstract: The advice provided by lawyers in large law firms to their large commercial and government clients has a significant effect on perceptions of the fairness of the legal system and the social responsibility of large corporations and government bodies. It is likely that this advice is shaped in part by the expectations, practices, and values of the clients, and in particular the client's in-house counsel. The commercial imperatives of the client could encourage lawyers to act in ways that attract public censure. At the same time the integration of ethical content into contractual arrangements has become a common practice in government contracts for legal services. Yet the extent to which clients attempt to contribute to ethical behaviour is virtually unknown. This paper presents data gathered through interviews with in-house counsel for large commercial and government clients. It considers their perceptions of the ethics of their large law firm lawyers. It also examines the extent to which they attempt to influence the ethics of their lawyers and their assessment of the effectiveness of these attempts. We find that in house counsel select external lawyers according to their "cultural fit" with the client. The relationship is then a sustained one with the in house counsel actively monitoring the activities of the external lawyers to ensure that they are consistent with the ethical priorities of the client.
RMID: 0020084674
DOI: 10.1080/1460728X.2008.11423912
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Appears in Collections:Law publications

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