There is a certain irony to be had in the fact that the best general counsel (GCs) these days are so highly regarded because they are not lawyers in the traditional sense. Increasingly, the conversations the Legal Business team had while researching the 2019 GC Powerlist were about branching out into other areas, with risk management oft-cited. ‘Be a lawyer, but don’t act like a lawyer,’ was uttered more than once.
And this approach is not just reserved for the FTSE 100 companies. This holistic focus has touched both the smallest and largest legal teams. On the start-up side, banking app Monzo combined its GC and chief risk officer role for Dean Nash, who is filling the dual position on an interim basis. Donny Ching, the long-established GC of Shell with a more than 1,000-strong in-house legal team, has also had to embrace risk to a greater degree.