engulfing the legal profession. For example, Fenwick
& West of Mountain View, Calif., which does nearly
all of Cisco’s corporate, securities and mergers and
acquisitions work, notified Chandler last year that
its hourly rates were going up. He replied that he
planned to pay Fenwick 5% less in 2007 than he
had the year before. “To do that, I wanted them to
figure out what was the 10% of their work that was
the least value-added,” Chandler said. “We found
Cisco is part of the corporate movement to encour-
age greater diversity in the ranks of lawyers at its
outside firms, Chandler said. “We try to drive diver-
sity both internally and externally,” he said. “We are
cognizant of that when hiring outside counsel.”
“I do three things. The first is to anticipate what the
opportunities are for my team to play a role in grow-
I put pro bono work in the category of having a full, rich life.”
from Stanford Law School in 1981, he clerked for
Special Master J. Keith Mann in U.S. v. Alaska, a U.S.
Supreme Court case that established the federal
government’s control over submerged land and oil
drilling rights off the state’s Arctic coast.
Chandler practiced in the Law Office of James E.
Baer, a three-attorney firm in Palo Alto, Calif., from
1983 to 1985. He was a Robert Bosch Foundation
fellow in Germany in 1985 and 1986, then worked for
two years in the marketing department at Siemens
Capital Corp., in the United States and Germany. In
1988, he joined Maxtor Corp., which manufactured
data storage devices, serving as vice president for
corporate development and general counsel until
joining StrataCom in 1994.
they had lawyers billing us $400 to $500 an hour
doing fairly routine work filling out forms associated
with some of our acquisitions.”
Chandler and Fenwick came to an agreement.
Cisco added a paralegal to fill out forms and will save
$400,000, but it is reducing its payments to Fenwick
by just $250,000. “The change is designed to allow
them to increase their profitability at the same time
that I saved money. There [are] enough savings for
everybody. It is not a zero-sum game.”
Morgan, Lewis & Bockius handles litigation for
Cisco, and Chandler said he is well satisfied with
the results. Still, to hold down costs he has worked
out a fixed fee with the firm. “Whatever comes in,
they take it. What’s happened is they have become
very proactive at avoiding litigation.”
ing the company or, alternatively, to anticipate things
that could go wrong so we take action early to avoid
problems.” Second is to take care of his staff. “They
need questions answered quickly, they need the tools
to do their jobs right and they need to know I care about
career development. The third thing I do as general
counsel is play an active role in litigation strategy.”
ROUTE TO THE TOP
Chandler was general counsel at StrataCom Inc.,
when it was acquired by Cisco in July 1996. He
joined Cisco as managing attorney for Europe, the
Middle East and Africa and was promoted steadily
until being named general counsel in May 2003.
Chandler graduated with a bachelor’s degree from
Harvard University in 1978. Following graduation
Chandler and his wife, Chris Kenrick, have two
daughters and a son. He is active in civic affairs,
runs for exercise and has a passion for the kitchen.
“I lived in France for 2 1/2 years in the late ’90s.
My last six weeks there I took off and went to cooking school.”
A BOOK AND MOVIE
Team of Rivals, by Doris Kearns Goodwin, and A
Prairie Home Companion.
An earlier version of this profile appeared in The
National Law Journal on April 16, 2007.