Apple's Retail division is on the prowl for an external European legal advisor, breaking from the company's traditional in house-only legal arm. Apple currently runs its own streamlined legal operation with a single lawyer for Europe, the Middle East and Asia, according to The Lawyer.
While outsourcing for legal teams is common practice for many companies, that isn't always the case with Apple. "It's always been a very lean legal function -- a lot is centralized at HQ in the US and there's a lean staff internationally, but having a single external adviser would be quite unusual," commented a source familiar with Apple's retail operations.
The company has, however, looked to outside legal teams in the past few months for assistance with corporate and competition-related issues, government work, health and safety, retail issues, as well as litigation and shareholder disputes.
The deadline for firms hoping to land a deal with Apple is June 30, and the competition is likely to be strong. "They’re very sophisticated purchasers. They know instances where they want several legal advisers and instances where they want a single adviser," said a source at one legal firm.
Apple isn't commenting on its legal hunt, or when it plans to settle on a firm.