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”
Interviewed for our annual in-house lawyer survey, leading GCs give their take on risk management, becoming business advisers and collaboration
‘Digital technology is something that is upon us. A lot of law firms and in-house departments will start thinking about how we harness the power of AI or technology to help us and not feel threatened by it. How do we make life simpler and not do the mundane? It’s about a mindset of being agile – the world is always changing, last year everyone has seen how rapidly change has come upon us, political and economic. So how do you equip yourself to embrace the good things about change?’ Continue reading “The Last Word: The client view”
Climate change and sustainability dominated news headlines in 2019. Extinction Rebellion protests, Swedish teenager Greta Thunberg leading climate strikes around the world, while the President of the US has labelled it all a ‘hoax’. Investors are, in turn, increasingly putting pressure on the world’s largest companies to respond. It has become an enormous area of risk management for every business sector.
And responsibility for managing and assessing that risk has increasingly fallen upon the general counsel (GC). Andrea Harris, group chief counsel at the world’s largest marketing and public relations company, WPP, in recent years took on the head of group sustainability role, as has Heathrow Airport GC Carol Hui. Lawyers at Specsavers sit on that company’s sustainability group to help shape policy, while the GC at FTSE 100 energy giant Centrica, Justine Campbell, identifies the area as one of the biggest challenges she faces. Continue reading “The In-House Survey: Blurred lines – the GC as business leader”
Our fourth annual client survey shows the maturing role of in-house counsel leading to greater job satisfaction. But in winning more responsibility, are they taking on more than they can handle?
Career-wise, in-house is the new black. As Chris Fowler, general counsel (GC) for BT’s UK commercial legal services division, observes, there is now much more of a desire among millennials to work for companies than in private practice. With in-house teams evolving in status to become more important to the business, the role of the corporate counsel now is far more attractive to law graduates than ever before.
Continue reading “The In-House Lawyer Survey – More than a number”
Our fourth in-house survey shows a softening stance towards external advisers from general counsel, reflecting the need for high-quality consultative advice.
With more than 20 years spent in multiple in-house legal positions, BAE Systems’ group general counsel (GC) Philip Bramwell has been at the centre of the evolution of the in-house legal profession. But despite seeing the GC rise in prominence to trusted adviser status, he doesn’t believe the role will shift so fundamentally that it will lessen dependence on external counsel.
Continue reading “The In-House Lawyer Survey – Bang for your buck”
Client rankings from our fourth annual in-house survey show that GCs continue to trust premium advice. Can non-law firm providers make headway?
During the 1990s, when ITV’s current group general counsel (GC) Andrew Garard was serving a stint as head of legal at Reuters, a deal landed on his desk that required external advice. A revolving credit facility which, he says, was the first-ever syndicated loan deal done via the internet.
Continue reading “The In-House Lawyer Survey – Buying IBM”
Sarah Downey reports on the clients’ verdict
Linklaters has again been awarded top marks as an external adviser in Legal Business‘ fourth annual in-house survey, emerging as the clear overall favourite for both quality of advice on high-profile, strategic matters, as well as ranking first overall for value for money.
Continue reading “Linklaters ranked best adviser for second year in annual survey”
Interviewed for our annual in-house report, general counsel at leading companies give us their views on diversity, ethics and joining the c-suite
‘When I was a young lawyer, I remember working with an outside counsel and I said to him: “What’s your job versus my job?” He said: “My job is to make you look good.” My thoughts at the time were that there has to be more to it than that, but for firms that have focused on that mission, there’s been an upside for me and them. Those with no clue, who are just looking to build their book of business, have not fared well with me.’
Wanji Walcott, senior vice president, managing counsel, American Express
Continue reading “The Last Word: The clients’ view”