Steve consults with corporate compliance departments regarding the structure and operation of corporate compliance and ethics programs so as to improve the effectiveness of those programs and with corporate law departments and law firms on the value of legal service, assisting them to better align and recalibrate the cost and value of legal service that they provide to and manage on behalf of corporations and other business entities.
For two and one-half years, Steve served as Corporate Counsel for Global Compliance Services in Charlotte, North Carolina, specializing in data protection and privacy for that hotline and compliance services company. In that capacity and in order to improve the ability of business organizations with operations within the European Union and other jurisdictions to comply with the requirements of those jurisdictions’ data protection rules, he designed and implemented a data capture and storage service for hotline clients based within the European Union.
Before joining Global Compliance, he served for over two years as Director of Integrity Research for Integrity Interactive Corporation, in which capacity he conducted research, wrote white papers and otherwise worked with clients and potential clients of the company on issues related to corporate ethics and compliance programs. Those two positions culminated Steve’s almost ten years in the compliance industry, which included tenures at other compliance-training companies.
Before that, he consulted with corporate law departments and law firms on issues relative to how in-house and outside counsel work together after spending over 13-and-one-half years as an in-house attorney in the real estate industry, in law departments ranging in size from two attorneys to over 300 attorneys and as the sole in-house attorney for an organization, serving as its General Counsel for over one year. He also spent over two years as Executive Vice President, Deputy Editor and Deputy Publisher of The Metropolitan Corporate Counsel, a monthly journal for in-house attorneys. For six years prior to becoming an in-house attorney, he was in private practice.
From April 1989 until May 1997, Mr. Lauer was an Assistant General Counsel for The Prudential Insurance Company of America. During that time, he held increasing responsibility for the management of legal affairs for the company’s commercial real estate investment units, especially in respect of environmental issues and litigation and disputes to which Prudential was a party. From March 1996 until May 1997, he was Project Director for the Prudential Law Department’s Outside Counsel Utilization Task Force. In that capacity, he designed and managed the preparation and distribution of 109 distinct work packages (or RFPs) by which Prudential restructured its purchase of legal services and the evaluation of hundreds of proposals submitted by over 130 firms to handle those packages of work, organized a series of orientation meetings with the 22 law firms that won the most work under those RFPs and helped to organize and implement the Prudential Law Department’s Best Practices Conference in February 1997.
Mr. Lauer was the sole in-house environmental attorney in the Prudential Law Department’s Real Estate Section for almost seven years. As such, he managed all environmental litigation for the company’s commercial real estate investment units. He also organized a team of environmental litigation counsel (with which he met annually) to handle that litigation for those clients and he developed other litigation-management tools, including a litigation-policies-and-procedures manual. For several years, he was responsible for management of all litigation for those real estate units.
He represented Prudential in several industry groups such as the National Realty Committee (now the Real Estate Roundtable), the ASTM committee that developed an industry standard protocol for environmental assessments, the Mortgage Bankers Association and the American Council of Life Insurance. Mr. Lauer was a member of the task force that developed the Uniform Task-Based Management System codes for task-based billing for the legal profession.
He has authored or co-authored over 100 articles on the relations between in-house and outside attorneys, the selection of counsel by corporate clients, the evaluation of legal service, litigation management and other topics relevant to corporate compliance programs and corporate legal service. He has authored Conditional, Contingent and other Alternative Fee Arrangements (Monitor Press Ltd., Sudbury, Suffolk, UK, 1999), Managing your Relationship with External Counsel (Ark Group, London, UK, 2009), The Value-Able Law Department (Ark Group, London, UK, 2010) and Value-Related Fee Arrangements(Ark Group, London, UK, 2012). He has spoken at numerous conferences in respect of those subjects and organized conferences and seminars (including online seminars) as well. He is Executive Director of Leaders in Law Institute, a Participating Principal in the Leaders in Law Reference Model, a former Vice Chair of the Corporate Counsel Committee and Co-Chair of the Corporate Compliance Committee, both of the American Bar Association Section of Business Law, and a Fellow of the Claims and Litigation Management Alliance. He co-founded the Open Legal Standards Initiative.
Steve teaches a course on the role and development of corporate law departments at Wake Forest University School of Law in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. In that course, he reviews the history of corporate law departments and explains the role of in-house lawyers and how law departments have impacted the legal profession and the changes that they have wrought and will continue to effect among lawyers who represent corporate clients.
He received a B.A. from the State University of New York at Buffalo and a J.D. from Georgetown University Law Center.
“As law continues to modernize, the focus is shifting from the expertise of individual lawyers to the value of the legal work to the client. Steve Lauer has worked with some of the most sophisticated legal departments in delivering superior value, and has provided a superb and workable roadmap for all lawyers to better manage value. Steve shows how in-house and firm lawyers will need to collaborate better to achieve their mutual goals.”