Their roles may not often involve handling major crises that lead to headlines or hashtags, but lawyers at some Illinois-based companies — ranging from startups to companies with around 100,000 employees — predict the in-house attorney’s role will expand to include more duties that put this traditionally hidden corporate figure in the public eye.
The conflict between commercial litigation boutiques and large firms’ litigation departments isn’t how one can topple the other, but how the firms and lawyers can use each other to refer cases, tackle conflicts of interest and patch gaps in the legal market.
Anthony O’Neill’s whirlwind career began at the Illinois Sports Facilities Authority a year and a half ago, when he left Williams Montgomery & John — where he had a multifaceted practice that consisted mostly of antitrust and general litigation work — after nearly seven years to become the authority’s general counsel. He was only in the position for six months before being promoted to chief operating officer and general counsel and, and ultimately, CEO.
Since 2013, Meghan McCall Hansen, a 34-year-old Latham & Watkins associate, has worked pro bono for the Human Trafficking Initiative run by Legal Aid Society of Metropolitan Family Services, spending hundreds of hours helping victims.
The move to eight floors in 444 W. Lake St. at Wolf Point was a much-needed breath of fresh air for a firm that had spent 30 years at its previous space. But the new space is also expected to serve as a model for several other locations of the multinational firm that will be moving or upgrading their current offices over the next six years or so.
This issue of Chicago Lawyer looks at the sometimes contentious, always fascinating relationship between Big Law and Big Business. From the attorneys who went in-house to the small-firm proprietors whose livelihoods depend on commercial disputes, this issue looks at how those worlds collide.
Women in Law 2017Chicago Lawyer is proud to present the 2017 Women in Law special section.
Chicago Lawyer DirectoryA roundup of alternative dispute resolution services.
Chicago Lawyer DirectoryProfiles of some of the top women in the profession.
Chicago Lawyer DirectoryA roundup of the top legal technology companies in the Chicago area.