Tuesday, 15 May 2018 12:21

‘Larger law firms offer clients a broader range of knowledge’

Good external lawyers are aware that their added value will be the practical insight they can offer into enforcement and court practice, says Samsung’s Carla de Abreu Lopes

The advantage larger law firms have when competing with rivals to win instructions from clients is that they are able to offer a wider range of knowledge, says Carla de Abreu Lopes, legal counsel at Samsung Electrónica Portuguesa. That said, when choosing external lawyers, Samsung takes into account a firm’s “prestige” as well as the track record of the individual lawyer who will be assigned to a case, Abreu Lopes adds. Meanwhile her approach also involves seeking references for the preferred firm, she explains.
“I work with several external law firms,” she says. “Considering the scope of the outsourced work, which is very specialised and requires knowledge of the client’s business, I tend to choose larger firms.” Samsung sold 700,000 devices in the Portuguese market in 2017, according to consultancy IDC. In February this year, Samsung – which originated in South Korea – struck a deal with Vodafone for the Spanish launch in of Vodafone’s V-Home platform of ‘Smarthome’ services for the Internet of Things (IoT).
The type of work that Samsung usually passes to outside counsel includes matters related to privacy and IT, as well as competition, environmental laws and tax issues. Abreu Lopes says it is important that external law firms work closely with Samsung in order to fully appreciate what the company requires from a legal perspective. “External lawyers must identify with their client’s project, so that they will understand the client’s needs,” she explains.

Keeping it simple
The qualities Abreu Lopes looks for in lawyers include a high level of expertise in the relevant area, in addition to a practical approach and awareness of previous court decisions if relevant. “Choosing a specific firm matters when it is necessary to have a team that specialises in different fields of law,” she explains. “In my view, the good external lawyer is knowledgeable in his or her field of law, but is also aware that their added value will be the practical insight into enforcement and court practice,” Abreu Lopes says. Such knowledge and expertise will help in-house lawyers to better assess the risks involved and enable them to better explain the matter in simple, easily understandable terms to non-lawyers.
Abreu Lopes believes that another extra benefit of using an external firm – in addition to the theoretical, in-depth assessment of the matter – is practical insight based on the lawyer’s experience and sound knowledge of law enforcement in the relevant area.

Meet deadlines
With regard to what factors make Samsung less likely to use a particular law firm, Abreu Lopes cites a lack of expertise in the relevant area, as well as an inability to meet tight deadlines. She adds that such firms would only be used for “less specialised or less urgent matters, assuming that it provides a good service.”
It is also important that law firms take the time to develop an in-depth understanding of their client’s business, says Abreu Lopes, though she admits that this may sometimes take some time. “I was previously an external counsel myself, and I understand that, when being a provider of external legal services, it may be difficult to get to know all the specific features of a client and the particular market in which it operates,” she explains.

Managing risk
Abreu Lopes says one of the biggest challenges in-house lawyers face is ensuring risks are managed effectively. “Sometimes it may seem, without looking closely, that we are creating issues when preventing risks,” she says.
Abreu Lopes adds that, in addition to the usual day-to-day contract drafting and legal advice on compliance issues, privacy matters are another area that are currently keeping Samsung’s legal department busy. This is especially the case given the forthcoming implementation of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) across the European Union, which is scheduled to take place in May this year. Abreu Lopes says the GDPR will have a big impact on the legal team’s workload in the coming year. She adds: “This year, technology companies will continue to innovate and to adapt to the digital world of connected experiences, including IoT. The year 2018 will be exciting, with new opportunities in technology, but it will also bring new challenges.”

Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat Sun

Click image

This website uses cookies

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you continue without changing your settings, we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies on the IberianLawyer website. However, you can change your cookie settings at any time. Learn more

I agree

What do I need to know about cookies?

A cookie is a small text file that’s stored on your computer or mobile device when you visit a website. We use them to:

  • Remember your preferences
  • Tailor our sites to your interests.

There are different types of cookies

First party cookies

These are set by the website you’re visiting. And only that website can read them.  In addition, a website might use a separate company to analyse how people are using their site. And this separate company will set their own cookie to do this.

Third party cookies

These are set by someone other than the owner of the website you’re visiting. 

Some IberianLawyer web pages may also contain content from other sites like Vimeo or Flickr, which may set their own cookies. Also, if you Share a link to a IberianLawyer page, the service you share it on (e.g. Facebook) may set a cookie on your browser.

The IberianLawyer has no control over third party cookies.

Advertising cookies

Some websites use advertising networks to show you specially targeted adverts when you visit. These networks may also be able to track your browsing across different sites.

IberianLawyer site do use advertising cookies but they won’t track your browsing outside the IberianLawyer.

Session cookies

These are stored while you’re browsing. They get deleted from your device when you close your browser e.g. Internet Explorer or Safari.

Persistent cookies

These are saved on your computer. So they don’t get deleted when you close your browser.

We use persistent cookies when we need to know who you are for more than one browsing session. For example, we use them to remember your preferences for the next time you visit.

Other tracking technologies

Some sites use things like web beacons, clear GIFs, page tags and web bugs to understand how people are using them and target advertising at people.

They usually take the form of a small, transparent image, which is embedded in a web page or email. They work with cookies and capture data like your IP address, when you viewed the page or email, what device you were using and where you were.

How does the Iberian Lawyer use cookies?

We use different types of cookies for different things, such as:

  • Analysing how you use the IberianLawyer
  • Giving you a better, more personalised experience
  • Recognising when you’ve signed in

Strictly Necessary cookies

These cookies let you use all the different parts of Iberian Lawyer. Without them services that you have asked for cannot be provided.

Some examples of how we use these cookies are:

  • Signing into the IberianLawyer
  • Remembering previous actions such as text entered into a registration form when navigating back to a page in the same session
  • Remembering security settings which restrict access to certain content.

Performance cookies

These help us understand how people are using the IberianLawyer online, so we can make it better. And they let us try out different ideas.
We sometimes get other companies to analyse how people are using the IberianLawyer online. These companies may set their own performance cookies You can opt out of these cookies here.Some examples of how we use these cookies are:

  • To collect information about which web pages visitors go to most often so we can improve the online experience
  • Error management to make sure that the website is working properly
  • Testing designs to help improve the look and feel of the website.
Cookie nameWhat it's for
Google DoubleClick The IberianLawyer uses Google DoubleClick to measure the effectiveness of its online marketing campaigns.Opt-out of DoubleClick cookies
Google Analytics From time to time some IberianLawyer online services, including mobile apps, use Google Analytics. This is a web analytics service provided by Google, Inc. Google Analytics sets a cookie in order to evaluate use of those services and compile a report for us.Opt-out of Google Analytics cookies