One year after retiring as general counsel of FMC Technologies, Inc. , Jeffrey Carr has joined Valorem Law Group , one of the six outside law firms he regularly used while serving as top lawyer of the energy equipment provider.
In his new role, Carr will lead a new consulting practice at Valorem, which the 12-lawyer law firm calls ValoremNext because of its forward-thinking approach: Carr will advise clients on how to prevent legal problems before they occur.
In an interview, Carr said that as general counsel of FMC, he saw that this is an area where law firms are generally behind the eight ball and is an opportunity for Valorem to provide a service offering that continues to differentiate the firm.
“Firms will say that they do preventative law, but they don’t,” said Carr. “It’s antithetical to how a law firm makes its money: it makes its money in handling problems, and there isn’t as much counseling.”
Carr explained that his new practice at Valorem will focus on advising clients on implementing policies and procedures. He said one big component entails what he called “after-action” whereby Carr reviews a litigation after it has concluded to assess areas of weakness for the client.
The practice builds upon Valorem’s mantra that it strives to be an “enterprise” law firm for clients, as opposed to what its lawyers believe many big law firms have become: hotels that see regular turnover and whose interests aren’t as in line with the client.
The addition of Carr is a notable get for Valorem, a litigation law firm that started in 2008 and is a self-proclaimed destination for “Big Law refugees.”
Carr, a 1982 graduate of Georgetown University Law Center, served as general counsel for FMC Technologies for 13 years. He implemented a number of cost saving measures to reduce its legal spend even when the company itself grew substantially.
In 2001, FMC was a $1.8 billion company with a $14.8 million legal spend, and by 2014, FMC was a $7.5 billion company, with a $9.8 million legal spend, according to figures provided by Carr. FMC used Valorem as one of its law firms on a six-law firm panel, Carr said.
To introduce Carr and his new prevention practice to in-house lawyers, Valorem plans to offer one-hour programs in Houston on Oct. 28, Chicago on Nov. 12, and Silicon Valley on Nov. 17, according to Tuesday’s announcement .