‘In the legal profession people don’t always let go quickly enough. That mentality can be destructive if it gets carried in-house,’ says Suzanne Wise, group general counsel (GC) and company secretary of Network Rail, the public body that owns and maintains the bulk of the UK’s railway infrastructure. For Wise, learning to let go is one of the distinguishing features of a successful GC.
‘You don’t get into the technical details of your function at a very senior level because discussions tend to be much more focused on the business as a whole, and the expectation is that you will take full part in those discussions. Communicating and influencing skills are very important if you want to move into a senior position in-house because an awful lot of what you find yourself doing is not legal work.’