Settlement counsel: a little-known idea that appeals to many in-house counsel

Ralph Cuervo-Lorens says hiring yet another lawyer for dispute resolution may be counterintuitive, but clients like it

By Julius Melnitzer | May 2, 2023

Just about any legal department would concur that legal costs are high enough, thank you. The prospect of adding another lawyer to the dispute resolution team is, at best counterintuitive, at worst, anathema.

But that’s the idea behind the “settlement counsel” concept; lawyers engaged only in resolving a dispute or settling a case.

“The key premise is that litigation advocacy is not the same as settlement advocacy and that the task of resolving a dispute without a trial or hearing is also not the same as the task of litigating it,” says Ralph Cuervo-Lorens, a dispute resolution, regulatory compliance and environmental law partner in McMillan LLP’s Toronto office. “While the objectives may be the same, the approaches are not.” MORE . . .

Julius Melnitzer is a Toronto-based legal affairs writer, ghostwriter, writing coach and media trainer. Readers can reach him at [email protected] or


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