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The Outside Counsel Director is a collaborative partner with General Motors Legal Staff in managing its outside counsel and legal vendor network. This role will work closely with leadership to review all aspects of the Company’s outside legal vendor network and to develop and implement initiatives aligned with Legal Staff’s operational objectives. This role requires a highly motivated team player who can balance a top-down perspective with a significant working role in the organization.
Guide the Legal Staff’s outside counsel and third-party vendor relationships.
Collaborate with Legal Staff leadership to evaluate the existing outside legal counsel and third-party vendor network, both domestic and international, and design and implement a convergence program with the goal of retaining/improving quality, increasing efficiency, maximizing value, and improving predictability. Conduct RFP processes, where appropriate.
Establish and implement outside counsel and vendor guidelines and processes.
Lead cost and performance management for outside counsel and vendors.
Responsible for managing all aspects of outside counsel spend including tracking and analyzing legal spend.
Develop pricing models and templates for use across the Legal Staff:
Set standardized billing rates and a rate increase request process.
Negotiate fee arrangements with outside counsel and third-party vendors.
Where necessary, develop creative matter-specific alternate fee arrangements in partnership with managing attorneys.
Manage reporting and analyses of legal services and spend, as well as internal metrics.
Evaluate, select, and implement a tracking system to provide quick and easy access to data on each engagement to monitor pricing performance and savings.
Understand industry trends, benchmarking, and best practices in legal operations.
Partner with colleagues in Legal, Finance, IT, and other departments on initiatives.
Maintain and support a culture of legal compliance and excellence.
As a member of the GM Legal Staff, the Outside Counsel Director will strive to be a role model for the Company by supporting the delivery of high performance services with high integrity. The GM Legal Staff’s objectives are to deliver timely, best-in-class business advisory and legal services in close collaboration with business partners to accomplish their objectives while simultaneously protecting GM’s high standards of legal, ethical, and financial integrity. Each member of the Legal Staff is expected to adhere to these standards:
Workplace and Product Safety
Compliance & Ethics
Responsive & Accountable
Real-time Transparency and Communication
Superior Work Product Quality
Strong Work Ethic
Company and Industry Knowledge
Community Involvement and Professional Development
Education, Qualifications & Experience:
A Law degree from an accredited college or university.
Admitted to practice in at least one jurisdiction in the United States and, if not admitted in Michigan, the ability to qualify for in-house status in Michigan.
Minimum of ten (10) years of relevant experience; ideal candidates will have experience in outside counsel management in a multinational corporation or law firm.
A minimum of ten (10) years of financial analysis experience preferably pertaining to legal spend.
Demonstrated record of managing third-party vendors, including running RFP processes. Experience negotiating pricing and alternative fee arrangements is preferred; an understanding of law firm economics, billing, pricing, and compensation practices is also preferred.
Financial acumen including expert knowledge of researching, collecting, manipulating, analyzing large and complex data sets and succinct data presentation.
Experience developing and managing budgets.
Excellent computer skills, including advanced use of Microsoft Office Suite, data visualization and project management software.
Ability to collaborate, build relationships, gain credibility, and partner effectively with others up and down a matrixed organization.
Self-directed, solution-focused individual that with strong work ethic and the ability to collaborate cross-functionally to achieve enterprise-wide results.
Ability to respectfully speak up, exchange feedback and boldly share ideas without fear.
Demonstrated experience prioritizing conflicting demands from multiple business clients in an extremely fast paced environment.
Ability to set and meet multiple priorities, initiative to take on new challenges and partner with diverse teams in a fast-paced work environment.
Sound business judgment and financial acumen.
Aptitude for critical thinking and succinctly presenting the best course of action.
Exceptional organizational, analytical, leadership and interpersonal skills.
Proven ability to establish rapport and create an environment of continuous improvement.
Strong oral and written communicator.
Knowledge and experience in key legal trends that impact the organization.
Knowledge and understanding of automotive industry environment and business needs is preferred.
Employer will assist with relocation costs.
About General Motors
At General Motors, we embrace the opportunity to think bigger and aim higher. It’s the confidence in knowing our ideas produce exceptional vehicles and mobility solutions that move the world in exciting new ways. With strong leadership and bold vision, we’re directing the future of transportation—and enriching people’s lives along the way.