News round-up: January 14

by Vault Consulting Editors | January 14, 2011

  • My Vault

On the agenda today:

The Washington Post reports today that the Washington Media Group (no relation), a government lobbying and consulting organization, has broken ties with the government of Tunisia because of its "approach to important civil rights and civil liberties issues." According to the Post, the firm's consulting contract with the Tunisian government was worth around $420,000 for the year, for which Washington Media Group "provided communications counsel on, among other things, human rights, press freedoms and censorship of the Internet." "It was clear to us the Tunisian government was not going to implement the recommendations and work product we provided," said Gregory L. Vistica, the firm's president. Of course, all of this comes in the midst of widespread violence and demonstrations in the North African country, where protesters are demanding the removal of President Zine el-Abidine Ben Ali from power after decades in the role. The Post notes that it's quite rare to see a Western consultancy cancel a contract with a foreign government; such firms regularly engage governments of ill repute, the publication asserts, so it's strange to see a contract cancelled solely because of damaging headlines.

In slightly less intriguing news, law firm Squire Sanders & Dempsey announced today the hiring of a management consultant to head the firm's strategy and development efforts. Susan Saltonstall Duncan is that consultant, Legal Week reports, who will leave behind a consulting firm which she built from scratch, RainMaking Oasis. Squire Sanders representatives called Duncan's role "a new position for the firm." "Susan will have a major strategic role in terms of business development and helping us to develop our practice firmwide," the firm's European managing partner said. "She will also be giving business development and leadership coaching to our partners and assisting with the continued integration of our offices." Leadership coaching for BigLaw partners? Nice.

Happy weekend!

For more information:
The Washington Post
Legal Week

Filed Under: Consulting

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