Cisco poised for move to DuPont legal model

Tech company latest to adopt one-firm partnering scheme pioneered by DuPont

US technology company Cisco Systems is following in the footsteps of Tyco, Pfizer and Wal-Mart by aping the one-firm-fits-all strategy of the DuPont Legal Model.

Cisco’s UK law firms are now set to do battle for the plum position. The firm is likely to be chosen from current advisers Baker & McKenzie, Clifford Chance, DLA, Eversheds, Herbert Smith and Weil Gotshal & Manges.

The package of work is understood to include all routine corporate and property work, IP and IT, and employment matters across the UK.

The rollout of the new legal system follows the success of a similar single-firm system that has been trialled in Italy since late last year.

The US IT and telecoms giant is understood to have been approached a handful of law firms, including Baker & McKenzie, Eversheds and Weil Gotshal, to tender for the company’s UK legal work. Cisco is also believed to be asking for a single annual fee, while other key criteria are international capability and innovative use of technology and process engineering to increase efficiency and reduce costs. The agreement will be reviewed after two to three years, but is expected to give rise to a longer-term partnership.

Cisco Systems has had no formal panels in Europe in the past, although it has historically favoured Baker & McKenzie and Brobeck Hale and Dorr (now Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr), until West Coast firm Brobeck Phleger & Harrison collapsed. Weil Gotshal has also received an increasing number of instructions from the company in the past few years.

Cisco Systems declined to comment.