For the 2016 edition of GC Powerlist we return to the original format of the report – launched in 2013 – focusing on senior general counsel (GCs). Over that time, the report has expanded hugely to become one of the most important strands of Legalease’s portfolio. Expanding the report also reflects the reality that in understanding GCs, you need to look at the specifics. While law firms operate on a few variants of the same model, in-house teams are defined much more by the industry and the individual company in which they work.
But there are broad trends as well. The upward march of the in-house profession that this report was originally launched to chronicle has, if anything, accelerated. While law firms are struggling for growth in many sectors, in-house teams continue to expand in the UK and take on greater swathes of work. It’s becoming increasingly mainstream to encounter teams with multimillion-pound budgets that put only a tiny minority of their work to law firms. Where they are instructing outside counsel, a good proportion of GCs now barely bother to conceal their tactic of pushing law firms down the value chain… and their teams correspondingly upwards.