Legal Business (LB): Eighteen months in the group general counsel role, what have been some of the key projects since you landed? The wider business has been through a lot of transformation, how is legal keeping up?
Sabine Chalmers (SC), group GC, BT: When I joined, Gavin Patterson was my boss. He’s since left the business and we’ve transitioned to Philip Jansen from Worldpay. During that time the focus has been on learning the company and industry, getting to know and work with a new CEO, new board, my team, and as a result of all that identifying as quickly as possible what the strategic priorities for the function are and how to best support the business. Early on I reorganised my leadership team to mirror the evolving structure of the business, to ensure we had GCs reporting to me that were lined up with each of the business and corporate units: we announced that in June 2018. Continue reading “The BT interview – ideas from the bath”
Rising temperatures and sea levels, shrinking ice sheets and sea ice, extreme weather events. They’re all mainstays of today’s news cycles with a worrying – and growing – frequency.
‘The more you read about the shape of our planet, it’s inevitable you become concerned, it’s inevitable that you want to do something. The only way you can exist nowadays in an unengaged way, as a non-activist, is by shutting yourself off completely from all this information,’ says Jasper Teulings, general counsel of Greenpeace International. Continue reading “The imagination gap – Meet the GCs on the frontline of the climate change battle”
Dan Webster, group general counsel at Harrods, discusses what it takes to advise one of the world’s most recognisable department stores
I studied law at the London School of Economics and went to law school in Chester. I got a training contract at what is now CMS. I qualified in litigation, stayed a couple of years at CMS and then moved to SNR Denton. I stayed there for a few years and then decided I wanted a change. To my surprise, an opportunity came up to be an in-house litigator at Harrods, where the then-owner was famously very litigious. Once at Harrods, I quickly realised I was meant to be an in-house lawyer and, over time, I’ve evolved into a commercial, corporate, employment, IP all-rounder. Continue reading “In-house: The client perspectives”
Retailer Dixons Carphone has added four firms to a revised legal roster, with DWF, RPC, Bristows and Carson McDowell winning spots.
The panel will run for four years following the expiration of its previous arrangement in March, which was the result of a 2016 review. The new additions join ten firms Dixons Carphone has kept panel relationships with, including Addleshaw Goddard, Clyde & Co, DAC Beachcroft, DLA Piper, Doyle Clayton, Fieldfisher, Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer, Pinsent Masons, Shoosmiths, and Worthingtons. Continue reading “In-house: RPC and DWF among four new firms on Dixons Carphone’s expanded roster”
As in-house legal departments continue to push their law firms to be more diverse, Swiss pharmaceutical giant Novartis has pledged to withhold 15% of fees if diversity and inclusion (D&I) levels are not met by its 22 panel firms.
The measure introduced as part of the company’s panel review, announced yesterday (12 February), has seen a host of advisers, including Magic Circle firms Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer and Linklaters, pledge that no fewer than 30% of associate time and 20% of partner time on a legal matter will be provided by ‘females, racially/ethnically diverse professionals, or members of the LGBTQ+ community, with an expectation that such commitments will move to parity over the next several years.’ Continue reading “In-house: Novartis to withhold 15% of fees if new panel firms miss D&I requirements”
Mark McAteer, Legal Business: How has the role of the general counsel [GC] changed over the last five years and how will it be different in five years’ time?
Alessandro Galtieri, Colt Technology Services: It is now absolutely not enough to be just a specialist or a good manager of a team of lawyers. You need to be part of strategic conversation if you are sitting at the board level. Otherwise, you are not really adding value. Continue reading “The in-house lawyer debate – Fit for purpose”
Business is full of buzzwords, and among the buzziest of the last few years is ‘agile’.
The traditional project management approach is ‘waterfall’. But, in contrast to the dynamism of the term, the waterfall process can be rigid. After a long period of requirement gathering and planning, the project is developed in a linear way, journeying through multiple phases and silos. A final product is delivered after an often lengthy process, perhaps measured in months or years, but with little opportunity for adaptation once the project has begun. Continue reading “Scrum time – Can agile project management deliver for GCs?”
In an exclusive extract from her new book You Didn’t Mention The Piranhas, Sarah Nelson Smith writes candidly about how it feels to be in the middle of a PR crisis:
In the second week of the crisis, the snow came. It had toyed with us for several days, threatening a festive dusting, but then changed tack and engulfed the country in a thick white blanket, mocking the efforts to get trucks loaded and onto the roads by rendering many of them impassable. I needed to get to Rugby, but living at the bottom of a hill on a country lane with a rear-wheel-drive car, I had no hope. Continue reading “Chicken run – GCs notes from the middle of a crisis”
The mobile payment giant’s GC on Jack Dorsey, rationalism, $2k taps and burning $1bn
Sivan Whiteley’s legal career began with the study of rational choice theory at university – decoding why people make the decisions they make. Continue reading “The Client Profile: Sivan Whiteley, Square”
Eversheds Sutherland has lost its sole-adviser mandate to Severn Trent after the FTSE 100 water company appointed five firms to its new panel, with listed firm DWF the big winner.
Severn Trent, which had run a sole-adviser mandate with Eversheds for more than a decade, has appointed DWF as its retained provider of legal services to its operational businesses, including areas such as construction, commercial, employment, regulatory, disputes and litigation, intellectual property, and planning and real estate. Continue reading “In-house: DWF leads as Eversheds loses sole adviser role on Severn Trent’s expanded panel”