In-house v. Outside Counsel: Best of both worlds
Lisette Leuftink, Corporate Legal Counsel, Transavia Airlines C.V., Netherlands
Gone are the days when in-house counsels send out all relevant cases to just one outside counsel, with whom it had a good and solid relationship built over years and years of cooperation. These days, in-house counsels have become more efficient and systematic when it comes to hiring outside counsels. ‘All bills will be paid without hesitation’ isn’t standard practice anymore. On the contrary, the costs for the services rendered have become one of the criteria for selecting outside counsels. Times have changed and so has the role of both the in-house counsel and the outside counsel.
After years of experience as an outside counsel at a law firm in Amsterdam, with a specialization in corporate and insolvency law, I changed jobs and joined Transavia Airlines (“Transavia”) at Schiphol Airport as corporate legal counsel. Even though the basis of both jobs consists of being a legal consultant for a company, the role of an in-house counsel is very different from the role of an outside counsel. In this paper I will set out how I experienced these differences and in general the recent developments in both roles. And what are the consequences for the cooperation between the outside and in-house counsels and their teams? Furthermore I will discuss a recent development in EU legislation on air passenger rights, how this affects the EU aviation industry and why in this case a solid cooperation with an outstanding outside counsel is of paramount value.
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