Legal Business

Boardroom Horizons: The Market View

Top-level general counsel give their views on what marks out an exceptional in-house legal team in a risk-driven global economy.

Donny Ching, legal director, Royal Dutch Shell… on winning friends and influencing commercial colleagues.

‘You can tell who the really great lawyers are by the way they interact with their business colleagues. Those who are constantly being consulted, being involved as a core member of the team, sometimes leading the negotiations. You can see the dynamics in the discussions and the negotiations – which are the lawyers that are genuinely very respected. And those are the lawyers which are getting the best outcome.’

Benoit Belhomme, general counsel (GC) Western Europe, British American Tobacco… on working in contentious sectors.

‘Like a doctor, you need to understand your patients to give the right remedy. You share the pain as well. Controversial industries like ours tend to have a culture where lawyers are more part of the business. You have to frequently adapt and people know legal is a crucial element to maintain a licence to operate.’