One of the most innovative general counsel ever, Jeffrey Carr describes his career as decades spent on the radical fringe of reforming legal services delivery. Yet many of his ideas for revamping legal departments, once viewed as radical, have now become mainstream.

As general counsel at FMC Technologies in the early 2000s, Carr disrupted how legal departments hire and compensate outside counsel, creating models that today are considered standard operating procedure at many companies.

Listen to part 2 of this interview.

After retiring from FMC in 2014, he went on to work with Valorem Law, one of the earliest law firms to focus on making alternative fee arrangements the norm. Valorem became the progenitor of ElevateNext, the law firm affiliate of the global law company Elevate. Carr returned to a GC role in 2019 at Univar Solutions, where he sought to build the law department of the future. Now retired, he teaches, writes, and pursues his hobby of driving race cars.

In this first of a two-part interview, Carr joins me to talk about how he landed on the “radical fringe” of reforming legal services and to discuss some of the initiatives he created at FMC, including the Alliance Counsel Engagement System, or ACES, a method of hiring outside counsel so unique that he was encouraged to patent it.

We also discuss Carr’s recent post on the Legal Evolution blog, Four Waves of Change in #LawLand, in which he lays out his framework for making the legal system better.

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Photo of Bob Ambrogi Bob Ambrogi

Bob is a lawyer, veteran legal journalist, and award-winning blogger and podcaster. In 2011, he was named to the inaugural Fastcase 50, honoring “the law’s smartest, most courageous innovators, techies, visionaries and leaders.” Earlier in his career, he was editor-in-chief of several legal publications, including The National Law Journal, and editorial director of ALM’s Litigation Services Division.