For many lawyers, much of the draw to move in-house is the opportunity to play a more direct role in the business. It is also the chance to develop their commercial acumen beyond the level that private practice allows. The skillset this is cultivating within the in-house team is undoubtedly making the general counsel (GC) a better adviser and has the happy side effect of preparing lawyers for senior business roles.
Barclays’ Amol Prabhu is a prominent recent example of a senior lawyer making the transition, but one that still happens all too rarely in the UK. Belonging to an exclusive but slowly growing band of business people who transitioned from in-house counsel to the C-suite, Prabhu has spent 15 years at Barclays, working in Dubai, Hong Kong, London and now Johannesburg. He was most recently the head of emerging markets legal for EMEA, before accepting the role of Barclays co-head for Africa and chief representative officer: South Africa.