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After the collapse of its principal outside counsel Brobeck Phleger & Harrison, Cisco Systems is watching a series of West Coast law firms traipse through its San Jose headquarters in an attempt to woo the technology giant
Brobeck provided general corporate, securities and real estate advice to Cisco, which was the firm's biggest client. General counsel Mark Chandler once described the firm as "a virtual extension of our legal department".
West Coast heavyweights such as Cooley Godward, Orrick Herrington & Sutcliffe and Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati have already started to gain a much larger share of Cisco's legal work. Fenwick & West has also worked on a number of investments.
Cisco is known for outsourcing as many services, legal or otherwise, as it possibly can, so Brobeck's former competitors are all fighting for a piece of the action.
In Europe, Brobeck Hale and Dorr's European managing partner Tom Kellerman has convinced Cisco that the firm can continue to provide a seamless service in its new guise. Brobeck operated a joint venture with Hale and Dorr in Europe.
An official statement from Brobeck Hale and Dorr shrugged off the collapse of Brobeck and The Lawyer understands that Cisco has been starting to use a variety of law firms over the past six months as the situation has unfolded.