October 25, 2017
Corporate Counsel ’s Sue Reisinger recently interviewed Mark Chandler, senior vice president, general counsel, and chief compliance officer of Cisco Systems Inc. on the topic of business alignment and how he chooses outside counsel. Chandler’s remarks included high praise for AMS attorney Deanna Tanner Okun.
Chandler defines business alignment as “seeing the big picture—stepping back and understanding the business purpose of a legal action. It means not turning over an endless number of stones in a case to run up costs, but knowing which ones are necessary to turn over regardless of the cost.”
Chandler’s first test when choosing outside counsel is “whether the substantive capability of the firm matches the requirements of the work.”
He considers the best scenario when “both the substantive qualities and the business alignment come together in the same counsel.”
Chandler explains, “We have a matter before the U.S. International Trade Commission right now, and I am working with Deanna Tanner Okun of Adduci Mastriani & Schaumberg,” a small Washington, D.C., firm that specializes in international trade matters. Okun served 12 years on the ITC, including two terms as its chairwoman.
“The reason she is so fantastic isn’t just that she knows the agency so well,” Chandler says, “but because she is so good at understanding what we want to accomplish and predicting what we have to work on to get there. She is incredibly knowledgeable, sensitive to our business goals, and targeted in her approach.”
To read the full article on the Corporate Counsel website: https://www.law.com/corpcounsel/sites/corpcounsel/2017/10/25/cisco-business-alignment/?slreturn=20170926104418