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Litigation management oversight and transactional services coming to San Diego

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The Law Firm of Christopher N. Kennedy is a one-person law firm that has specialized for more than ten years in providing litigation management oversight and transactional services to corporate clients at rates which are a fraction of typical outside fees. This is a niche practice in which Kennedy has used his experience as both an in-house general counsel and solo practitioner to provide an exceptionally broad range of legal services to clients in need, but who do not have -- or particularly want -- the expense of in-house counsel.

In late summer/early fall of 2011, the firm will be opening an office in San Diego with the intention of providing services to clients here while continuing its representation in Houston, Texas, where the firm currently maintains an office.

Traditionally, corporate clients have often had to refer much of their legal affairs and work to outside law firms. Counsel in these firms frequently have not worked in companies, and therefore do not have the practical, inside knowledge of the corporate world that actual experience brings. This means corporate personnel have to spend time and money working with counsel to correct the problem, assuming it can be corrected. Conversely, corporate clients without inside counsel often do not have detailed knowledge of how the legal system works and have to manage legal matters as to which they have little practical knowledge. This places them at a disadvantage -- when working with outside firms they create the potential for projects to lose both focus and momentum, which in turn unnecessarily increases both costs and the risk of failure. The Law Firm of Christopher N. Kennedy was established to address these twin problems.

The firm’s services have proven especially valuable where litigation is involved. Litigation is essentially warfare, and the company and its litigation counsel need to be able to communicate so that the lawyers get the tools they need for the client to get the result they want. To this end the firm does not provide in-court primary representation, but instead offers a service which is often lacking: constructive and persistent independent oversight and analysis (both of strategy and contents of all advocacy filings), aggressive fact-finding (both with counsel’s assistance and independently), and devil’s advocate review -- including saying the politically incorrect things, which might need to be said, for the good of the overall effort, and also being an intermediary to resolve personality and other conflicts which can develop between primary litigation counsel and the company.

The success of this approach resulted recently in development of evidence enabling a plaintiff client to successfully resolve a $12 million dollar claim, an effort involving the foreign client and several groups of counsel on two continents. Conversely, the firm recently put together and directed efforts which ultimately resulted in a client avoiding close to a $1 million refund demand in a bankruptcy preference action, with virtually no involvement by the client required beyond providing basic, internal corporate documents.

On transactional matters, the firm’s corporate and litigation experience has enabled it to take the leadership role in getting projects done, often drafting all major and supporting documents. For example, the firm provided the overall legal guidance and services necessary to establish a complex $15 million international maritime venture, a $10 million asset acquisition, and has also been the main “company” lawyer on various bank credit agreements, troubled asset workouts and other debtor-creditor matters. Kennedy also serves as corporate secretary for a client group of affiliated companies and provides a complete portfolio of traditional corporate secretary services, including those involving corporate formation, governance and maintenance. He also has extensive contacts with other providers of goods and services which may be needed in a particular matter.

The firm remains a solo operation by choice. This and strict cost controls means that the services can be made available at a fraction of what is typically charged, thus keeping the firm competitive and making joint efforts with other counsel -- a good deal on a cost/benefit analysis. Contact cnkennedy@earthlink.net, or call 713-227-7444 for more information.

-Submitted by Christopher N. Kennedy

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