Tyco to split global legal function three ways

Tyco is overhauling its legal function and embarking on a massive recruitment drive to build three new legal departments to align with the three new companies it is set to convert into next year.

Tyco’s Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) general counsel Trevor Faure is simultaneously kicking off a rationalisation of the 250 external law firms he uses.

Faure told The Lawyer: “I want the external firms to mirror the internal structure.”

Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom advised Tyco on the split, which will see the $40bn (£23.1bn) conglomerate split into three companies: the $18bn (£10.4bn) fire & security and engineered products & services business, the $12.5bn (£7.2bn) electronics division and the $9.5bn (£5.5bn) healthcare arm.

Faure is analysing how many extra lawyers will be needed. Tyco EMEA has 53 lawyers in 35 countries, with 66,000 employees across 900 legal entities.

“Scale and complexity is a big issue,” said Faure. “The legal team is a portfolio of staff that wasn’t planned. It’s part of the acquired growth of the company. The rationalisation has not taken place.”

In the US, Tyco has a similar system to the one-firm-fits-all DuPont legal model, but chooses firms for practice area rather than by jurisdiction (The Lawyer, 9 August 2004).

Faure has yet to decide how to structure the EMEA panel, but he will reduce the seven-figure legal spend. UK firms Tyco uses include Allen & Overy, Clifford Chance, Cobbetts, McGrigors, Pinsent Masons and White & Case.