There is a new approach to buying legal services and the new way forward is the mission

of the Buying Legal® Council.


You do not need a law degree to be a successful Legal Procurement professional, but buying legal services can be quite the challenge. The law has its own language and traditions. There are many complex concepts and nuances. And even if you have a law degree from one jurisdiction, better understanding legal concepts of another jurisdictions will always help. 

Our Legal Lessons series will help close the knowledge gap: 60-minute live webinars on a variety of legal topics and legal systems will help you become a better, more sophisticated buyer of legal services.

Upcoming events


Legal Method, Skills, and Reasoning with Louise Boswell and Tim Sales (CMS UK)

Through practical examples and illustrations, Louise and Tim will provide insight into how lawyers go about their work, highlighting key things that buyers of legal services need to consider looking for in their lawyers when purchasing specific types of legal services.

Louise Boswell is a Senior Associate and Solicitor Advocate at CMS Uk practising commercial litigation and arbitration. She also advises on alternative dispute resolution and mediation, with a focus on assisting clients to find the most commercial and practical solution for their business. She regularly assist clients in relation to disputes and dispute risk areas in a wide range of sectors including consumer products and retail, life sciences, hotels, banking and finance, technology and telecommunications, energy, engineering and manufacturing. She has acted on cases in the High Court, Court of Appeal and the Supreme Court.  She regularly advises on contractual disputes, including those involving matters of construction, breaches of warranty and termination issues.  She has also advised clients on post-acquisition issues and the resolution of complex claims arising from allegations of negligence, fraud, bribery, abuse of process and misrepresentation. Louise was recognised as a “Next Generation Lawyer” in this year’s Legal500 for Commercial Litigation.

Tim Sales is a Senior Associate and Solicitor Advocate at CMS UK practicing in commercial arbitration and litigation, both domestic and international, together with regulatory and public law disputes. He advises on all aspect of commercial disputes and the available routes for resolution. Tim has significant experience gained across a spectrum of commercial, regulatory and public law disputes, particularly in the technology and infrastructure sectors. He has resolved disputes through arbitration, the High Court, Court of Appeal, Competition Appeal Tribunal, and a variety of ADR processes. Tim has previously spent time working with an international human rights NGO in Washington, D.C., Kampala and Nairobi. Tim is recognised as a key senior associate by Legal500 who is “on top of cases’ detail”.

Their session will cover:
  • The key skills of a lawyer - what law firms look for when recruiting lawyers
  • Differences for civil and common law jurisdictions
  • Different types of legal services and lawyers
  • Legal process case studies (contentious and non-contentious/transactional): Getting into the minds of lawyers
  • Key considerations when purchasing legal services

What you will learn:

  • Understand how lawyers approach their work
  • Know what key skills to look for when purchasing different types of legal services

    GDPR with Tracy Weir and Dawn Maruna (Baker Donelson)

    Tracy E. Weir is a shareholder at Baker Donelson who focuses her practice on information privacy and security matters arising from federal and state laws, including HIPAA, HITECH, state data breach laws, the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA), and she provides advice to U.S. businesses in all sectors on compliance with the EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). She has substantial regulatory and compliance experience working with clients on analyzing health care and information privacy implications for transactions and other business relationships, analyzing data incidents and counseling clients on breach notification obligations, developing policies and procedures, preparing and negotiating business associate agreements and data processing agreements, and handling Office of Civil Rights investigations. Ms. Weir also counsels clients on other health care regulatory matters such as Medicare reimbursement and the 340B Drug Pricing Program.

    Dawn M. Maruna is a senior business and technology attorney who concentrates her practice on data privacy and security, vendor management, corporate transactions, and regulatory compliance matters, including the EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), the pending California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA), the Federal Trade Commission's (FTC) online advertising and marketing regulations, the U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) and U.K. Bribery Act, the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), and cybersecurity regulations.

    Their session will cover:

    • The EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and the role of legal service providers in supporting a framework of compliance with the law.
    What you will learn:
    • The basic tenets of the GDPR
    • The compliance obligations applicable to businesses that are governed by the GDPR
    • Effective and efficient use of legal counsel and consultants for GDPR engagements

    Introduction to U.S. contract law with Stafford Matthews (Dentons)
    Stafford Matthews is a technology transactions and intellectual property lawyer and the managing partner of the Silicon Valley office of the global law firm Dentons. He is US Co-Chair of Dentons Global Technology Media and Telecommunications (TMT) Sector and has been recognized by the US Legal 500 in Venture Capital and Emerging Companies. Stafford is one of only 11 lawyers in the United States selected as a 2016 BTI Client Services All-Star in the field of Competition and Antitrust Law. He is dual qualified as an English solicitor and a US lawyer and has extensive experience in both European and Asian markets. He represents technology and industrial companies worldwide in complex contract negotiations; strategic development and the licensing and exploitation of intellectual property and products; litigation and arbitration of contentious contract disputes; the implementation and use of blockchain and smart contract systems; transactional antitrust and competition law matters in the US and the EU; and the negotiation of cross border alliances and joint development ventures.
    Compliance 101 with George Martin (Faegre Baker Daniels) and David Sampsell (Digi)

    George Martin is a partner at Faegre Baker Daniels. He is a trusted counselor to both public and private multinational companies on their most significant international transactions, operations, compliance and personnel matters. He advises boards of directors and senior leadership teams regarding cross-border strategic transactions, market entry and growth strategies, global compliance (including FCPA) and related governance matters.

    David Sampsell is Vice President, General Counsel and Corporate Secretary at Digi. Prior to joining Digi, he was Associate General Counsel ADC Telecommunications, Inc., overseeing corporate transactions and securities law compliance


    Members can download the 2018 Legal Lessons materials (slides and videos) here.

    THINKING LIKE A LAWYER with Prof. Katrina Lee (The Ohio State University Moritz College of Law)

    Katrina Lee is an Associate Clinical Professor at The Ohio State University Moritz College of Law. She teaches Business of Law, Legal Analysis and Writing, and Legal Negotiations. Before she joined academia, Katrina was a law firm equity partner in San Francisco, California. She practiced complex civil litigation for more than twelve years. Katrina has authored several scholarly articles and the business of law coursebook, “The Legal Career: Knowing the Business, Thriving in Practice” (West Academic 2017). Katrina received her B.A. and J.D. degrees from the University of California at Berkeley.

    Her session covered:

    • Provided an overview of 3-year law school curriculum in the U.S.
    • Explained the term “thinking like a lawyer”
    • Introduced the legal analysis structure (IRAC, CRAC, CREAC) taught in law school
    • Suggested connections between “thinking like a lawyer” and the business of law

    What you learned:

    • Gain a basic understanding of 3-year law school curriculum in the U.S.
    • Explore the meaning of the term “thinking like a lawyer”
    • Start learning about the legal analysis structure taught to law students
    • Think critically about the connection between the business of law and “thinking like a lawyer”

    KEY  ELEMENTS OF THE M&A PROCESS with Michael Hardy (Duane Morris)
    Michael Hardy has extensive experience representing private equity investors, senior and subordinated debt lenders and operating companies in connection with mergers and acquisitions, offerings of equity and debt securities, credit facilities, joint ventures, and other strategic transactions. He regularly advises companies regarding business and tax strategy, corporate governance and structure and matters relating to business operations. His clients include private equity and venture capital funds, banks and other regulated financial institutions, mezzanine lenders, large multinational corporations and middle-market companies in a broad array of industries. Mr. Hardy is a graduate of Vanderbilt University Law School, where he was associate editor of the Vanderbilt Journal of Entertainment Law & Practice, and holds a business degree from Towson University.

    This session covered:

    Specific activities and communications to successful initiate, negotiate and conclude an M&A transaction, including:
    • Assembling the advisory team
    • Assessing the best structure for the transaction, asset or stock purchase or merger
    • Developing a Time and Responsibility Schedule
    • The due diligence required to support a successful (and bulletproof) transaction

    What you learned:

    • Understand the complexity and lawyer personnel/time requirements involved in and unique to an M&A transaction
    • Recognition that changing circumstances (such as economic climate or loss of a key customer, for instance) will require additional law firm/lawyer involvement, input, time and ultimately cost
    • Understanding of the inherently adversarial nature of an M&A transaction
    ANATOMY OF A U.S. LAWSUIT with Jeff Lamb (Honigman Miller Schwartz and Cohn)

    Jeff Lamb is a partner in Honigman’s Litigation Department. He focuses on representing private equity firms in M&A litigation and international manufacturers in commercial disputes with their suppliers, customers, and competitors. Jeff has served as trial counsel in bench and jury trials and arbitral proceedings that have gone to verdict, and has won judgments and achieved favorable settlements at all stages of litigation. Prior to joining Honigman, Jeff worked at an eminent national law firm where he represented global chemical and energy companies in commercial disputes stemming from refinery fires, well failures, and joint ventures and mergers gone awry.

    This session covered:

    • Provide high level overview of the U.S. civil justice system
    • Describe phases, timing and key elements of a civil lawsuit
    • Detail aspects of the discovery process in U.S. lawsuits that impose significant obligations on litigants, and involve multiple parties playing different roles
    • Touch on the interplay between the U.S. civil justice system and the private arbitration of disputes

    What you learned:

    • Understanding of Federalism in U.S. justice system—distinction between state and federal court systems; civil and criminal lawsuits
    • Understanding of phases and timing of U.S. civil lawsuits—initial pleadings, initial dispositive motions, discovery, summary judgment, trial, appeal
    • Understanding of broad scope of discovery in U.S. courts, potential discovery costs, obligations to disclose and preserve physical and electronic evidence, and consequences for failing to do so, and the roles of lawyers, e-discovery vendors and experts
    • Understanding of the judge’s and jury’s roles in civil lawsuits
    • Understanding of appellate rights and process—what may be appealed and when
    • Understanding of how private arbitration relates to the U.S. court system

    WHAT IS COMMON LAW/CIVIL LAW? with Alexander Deicke (BarclayCard)

    Dr. Alexander Deicke has been committed to the economic success of companies since the beginning of his legal career. After working for a large firm, he set up his own firm which focuses on commercial law issues, including Corporate, Commercial, Banking, Insurance, IT, Employment, Lawyers, Regulatory and International Business Law. All projects he has participated in, such as an M&A project with Chinese involvement, working as a liquidator for a Russian corporate group, providing legal advice to a British financial services company and external functions for a U.S. company or controlling of data protection in a bank, have enabled him to build up intercultural and international competence. Alexander studied law at the University of Tübingen, earned an MBA from Hochschule Reutlingen, and an LL.M. from University of Münster.

    This session covered:

    • Brief history and principles of the world's legal systems: Common Law and Civil Law
    • The distinction between Common Law and Civil Law

    What you learned:

    • Understand the principles of Common Law
    • Understand the principles of Civil Law
    • Understand the differences between Common and Civil Law

    THE UK COURT SYSTEM with Phillip Taylor MBE (Richmond Green Chambers)

    Phillip Taylor is a barrister-at-law and was called to the Bar of Lincoln’s Inn in 1991. He was educated at London University awarded an honours degree in laws and is a board member of the University’s International Programmes. He has been head of Richmond Chambers since 1996 and has a busy civil practice in London and south east England. He is also the reviews editor of “The Barrister” magazine and has served as an elected member of two local authorities in Oxford and Richmond. He was awarded an MBE for public service in the New Year Honours list in 1994.

    This session covered:

    • Obtain an overview of civil litigation in the UK
    • Common Law and Equity
    • The structure of the courts/CPR (Civil Procedure Rules)
    • The Business and Property Courts
    • The Online Court/ADR (Alternative Dispute Resolution)

    What you learned:

    • Understand how the UK courts are structured
    • Identify the correct court
    • Spot the difference between the common law and equity
    • Clarify the correct procedures
    • Consider dispute resolution and commercial viability

    INTRO TO U.S. INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY LAW with Steve Ritchey & Jennifer Visintine (Thompson Coburn)

    Steve Ritchey advises clients on domestic and international patent applications and provides comprehensive counsel on licensing and technology transfer. He has prepared and prosecuted patent applications both domestically and internationally. Steve also drafts and negotiates technology alliance and license agreements, and prepares opinion letters regarding infringement and validity issues and freedom to operate. His patent experience covers a broad range of technical disciplines, including food technology, agriscience, biotechnology, organic chemistry, fuel cell catalyst technology, rechargeable battery technology, silicon wafer technology, nuclear medical materials, polymer technology, solder alloys, and metal plating technology.

    Jennifer Visintine helps clients build and protect their brands and other valuable intellectual property. She regularly advises clients regarding trademark selection, registration and enforcement, domain name disputes, and copyright ownership, registration, fair use and infringement issues. Jennifer also drafts and effectively negotiates license and other agreements related to intellectual property, and helps clients by counseling them on various Internet, licensing, e-commerce and privacy issues.

    This session covered:

    • Types of patents and similar protections: Rights provided patents and tips and risks for acquiring, defending and asserting patents
    • Trademark: Types of trademarks, Purposes of trademarks, Selecting and establishing trademark rights, Enforcement of trademark rights
    • Copyright: What is protected under copyright law, Exclusive copyright rights, How to protect your copyright, Copyright infringement and fair use

    What you learned:

    • Understand the different types of intellectual property
    • See how intellectual property affects your business
    • Understand the value of each type of intellectual property and how to protect it and avoid infringing the rights of others

    INTRO TO U.S. EMPLOYMENT LAW with Jennifer Sandberg (Fisher Phillips)

    Jennifer Sandberg is a partner in the Atlanta office of Fisher Phillips. Employers view her as a trusted advisor providing solid business advice. She works to understand her clients’ business and their desired business outcomes in order to provide creative and cost-effective advice and counsel. Her advice is custom-tailored for employers with tens of thousands of employees or those with a small staff. A significant portion of her practice is devoted to providing day-to-day preventive advice as employers design, manage, and carry out business initiatives. Clients appreciate her “no nonsense” approach.

    This session covered:

    • An overview of U.S. federal employment that all employers should understand
    • Wage-hour issues including the importance of pay equity in various jurisdictions
    • The importance of a compliance program and audit process for U.S. based entities

    What you learned:

    • How in the U.S., federal employment laws often differ markedly from state and local employment laws
    • How U.S. employment law continues to grow and expand at both a federal and state level
    • How “gut instinct” and common sense can run counter to U.S. employment law creating havoc for even the most experienced manager