Originally Published in Corporate Counsel | August 26, 2016 | By Sue Reisinger

One of the most challenging discovery issues for in-house counsel is struggling to keep up with fast-changing communications technology, according to Charna Gerstenhaber, head of litigation at Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corp.

New tools create more avenues for people to communicate, carrying information that Gerstenhaber says may need to be preserved and produced for litigation.

“So when they roll out a new way of texting or instant messaging or an internal social media tool that sounds like a great idea from a collaboration standpoint, to a litigator they present nightmarish possibilities,” she tells Corporate Counsel.

Gerstenhaber is one of several litigation chiefs set to speak, along with general counsel, on Sept. 15 in New York at a Consero Group forum called Corporate Litigation Executive Roundtable. Gerstenhaber’s panel will assess e-discovery management issues.

Another worrisome area, Gerstenhaber says, relates to offshoring or outsourcing data. “There’s always more concern about a risk of loss when things move,” she says.

With a global corporation such as Novartis, she says conflicting privacy laws in different countries “can get in the way of preserving or collecting e-data.”

She adds, “And if an outside vendor is retaining data, there’s the need to ensure that the contract appropriately provides for the possibility that it may need to be preserved and selected for litigation. Outside the U.S., people are much less attuned to litigation needs.”

Gerstenhaber says the Novartis legal department differs from others in that most of the team members have a number of different responsibilities. There’s no one, savvy tech person on the legal team who deals with IT, for instance. Years ago the legal department brought in a team of consultants from Huron Legal to both handle the day-to-day discovery program and work on long-term strategy. “We’ve been told our discovery program is advanced and very strong,” Gerstenhaber says.

Daniel Connolly, co-chairman of the roundtable and moderator for a panel on internal investigations, will also speak at the forum. Connolly is managing partner of the New York office of Bracewell.

Connolly says he sees three main trends in corporate litigation:

• The amount of litigation is down over the past five years. “That’s not necessarily a bad thing. It means that everybody is becoming more sophisticated and more willing to discuss options short of litigation,” he says.

• Alternative fee arrangements are growing. “There’s this whole notion of aligning the interests of outside counsel with the people they represent,” he says. “The increased focus on ways of providing cost certainty has provided some alternatives.”

• Regulatory enforcement is more aggressive than ever. “The appetite for internal [company] investigations has never been greater,” he says. “It’s one of the fastest developing areas of law.”

Contact Sue Reisinger at sreisinger@alm.com.

Previously Published in Corporate Counsel | September 21, 2016 | By Sue Reisinger

A whopping 40 percent of general counsel of major corporations said in a just-released survey that their companies have experienced a data breach in the past year. And data privacy/security tied for first place in the survey on a list of GC priorities for the coming months.

The 2016 General Counsel Report by the Consero Group, which produces forums for in-house counsel, includes answers from 76 general counsel of Fortune 1000 companies. The survey was part of Consero’s GC Forum in June.

Calling the cybersecurity breach number “surprising,” the report recommends that in-house legal departments “consider taking an active role in building a strong cybersecurity plan for their organizations, which includes constructing a crisis management procedure.”

The FBI is doing its part to enhance cybersecurity, according to a speech Wednesday by Attorney General Loretta Lynch to the International Bar Association. Stressing the international cooperation among governments, Lynch said the FBI’s Cyber Division recently created three new cyber assistant legal attaché positions in London, Ottawa and Canberra.

The offices, she said, will allow “us to embed our personnel with foreign law enforcement agencies in order to streamline information sharing and further our cooperation on a range of cyber issues.”

Closer to home, about 38 percent of the GCs surveyed reported they have a crisis management playbook in place for data breach events, and an added 26 percent are developing such a plan.

Another 68 percent said they think cyber liability insurance is “a necessary component of their approach to cyberrisk management.”

Nearly a quarter of those surveyed (23 percent) reported data privacy/security as a top area of focus. That tied for first place in a list of priorities with mergers and acquisitions, “which could be indicative of more corporate M&A activity in the year to come,” the report states. Compliance and ethics concerns ranked third on the priorities list, with 21 percent.

On a list of top risks, operational risk ranked first with 29 percent. Operational risk includes breakdowns in internal procedures along with human error. That was followed by regulatory compliance and data privacy/security risks, both with 19 percent of the GCs.

On other topics the survey showed:

* Some 79 percent of the GCs said that they conduct one-half to two-thirds of their legal work in-house. Another 12 percent said that they conduct 75-100 percent of it in-house.

* Only 23 percent reported delegating more legal work to outside counsel than 12 months ago, while 77 percent said they’re not.

* The GCs split on legal expenditures, with 41 percent predicting that they would increase in the next year, while another 41 percent estimated that they would remain the same.

Bethesda, MD – (August 23, 2016) For Immediate Release – Consero Group, an international leader in creating high-level, invitation-only events for senior executives, announced today the 2016 Brand Protection & Anti-Counterfeiting Executive Roundtable to be held October 6 at the Taj Boston Hotel in Boston, Massachusetts.

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Originally Published in iPFrontline | July 22, 2016

The results were reported as a part of the July 2016 Global Intellectual Property Management Data Survey, compiled by Consero Group

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Originally Published in Corporate Counsel | By Sue Reisinger | June 27, 2016

A recent survey of chief litigation counsel in the insurance and financial services industries suggests that the counsel are seriously challenged and underresourced.

The data is derived from 59 chief litigation officers who participated in an April survey conducted by the Consero Group in connection with a forum for litigation chiefs in the two industries.

“The survey results highlight in particular the persistent challenge chief litigators face in managing regulatory risk in financial services and insurance,” says Paul Mandell, founder and CEO of event coordinator Consero. “These executives appear underresourced in their efforts to stay on top of, and help their companies adapt to, periodic changes in the regulatory landscape at home and abroad.”

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Originally Published in The Wall Street Journal | June 24, 2016 | By Ben Dipietro

A look at some recent surveys and reports dealing with risk and compliance issues. Send surveys and reports to wsjrisk@wsj.com.

Not Feeling IT: A survey of chief compliance officers by executive events firm Consero found 75% said their current technology infrastructure doesn’t meet the needs of their compliance operations, with 26% saying they don’t have confidence in their IT departments to support their needs. Forty-six percent of compliance officers report being very active in cybersecurity and data privacy matters within their organization, and 65% said they have a formalized data privacy compliance plan for their company.

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Originally Published in HR.com | June 17, 2016 | By Paul Mandell

Every generation is defined by a certain set of characteristics, and the Millennial generation is no different. According to a 2015 Pew Research Center analysis of U.S. Census Bureau data, millennials make up approximately thirty-four percent of the labor force, giving corporate executives ample incentive to understand and address the unique elements of this demographic. Yet Consero Group’s recent Talent Management Data Survey, developed in connection with the January 2016 Talent Management Forum, indicates that fifty-nine percent of surveyed chief talent officers believe that their company is not doing an adequate job of attracting and retaining millennial talent. Today’s talent management leaders may be inclined to ignore or simply tolerate the differences between millennials and employees of other generations. However, these corporate executives would be far better served to focus on tailoring their efforts to attract and retain the millennial workforce using the very characteristics that define the generation.

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Originally Published in Supply Chain Management Review | April 11, 2016 | By Paul Mandell

The more resource-constrained a procurement department, the more likely it is that the overall business may be sensitive to cost.

Managing costs with limited resources poses a particularly vexing challenge to corporate procurement leaders. The more resource-constrained a procurement department, the more likely it is that the overall business may be sensitive to cost. However, a lack of procurement resources can make it even more difficult to achieve tangible cost savings, given shrinking buying power, inability to invest in spend analytics, or for other reasons.

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Screen Shot 2016-03-23 at 8.27.27 AMBETHESDA, MD.- (March 22, 2016) – Consero Group, an international leader in hosting high-level, invitation-only events for senior executives, today announced the Financial Services & Insurance Litigation Forum to be held April 17–19 at The Biltmore Miami Coral Gables in Miami, Florida. The upcoming Forum will address the litigation department’s evolving role in class actions, among other topics.

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Originally Published in Contact Center Pipeline | March 16, 2016 | By David Dorsey

3 Winning Data Strategies for your Customer Service Call Center

Effective data use can separate the preeminent contact centers from the rest of the pack. As you work to leverage your center’s data, consider these three tactics to elevate your contact center to the next level.


Key performance indicators (KPIs) can be invaluable to enhancing your operation and aligning it with the corporate vision. KPIs can be particularly helpful in measuring each employee’s ability to help customers.

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