An ambitious generation of in-house counsel is determined to take on leadership roles, despite corporate pressure to stay in the box. We ask GCs what it takes to break out as a leader
Are in-house counsel ready to be business leaders? It seems a strange question to ask given the level of education and training of most in-house lawyers and the dramatic expansion of the size and responsibilities of legal teams over the last 15 years.
And yet, leadership remains an issue that hangs ominously over the careers of in-house counsel. As they take on work that once would have gone to law firms and deal with mounting organisational, legislative and regulatory complexity they are often pushed towards the technically-demanding side of their legal role. Meanwhile, colleagues from finance, marketing or sales teams remain far more likely to be promoted to senior leadership roles within the company.