Law as business in the UK and the third legal community

Michael Butcher, General Counsel and Company Secretary, Veolia Environment UK Limited, UK

Two hundred years or so ago the industrial revolution and explosion of commerce lead to the legal profession of the attorney or solicitor joining that of the bar. The last century saw the global arrival of the limited company as the prime vehicle of business and with it, in growing numbers, the employed lawyer. In the UK the roles of in-house business lawyers have over time become significantly different from those of barristers working in chambers or solicitors working in law firms. They have become a third legal community. In this article I set out some of the wider background within which outside counsel and law firms are managed – in passing making some observations on the way of the civil law and issues arising in the USA – both traditions having treated their in-house lawyers very differently until of late.

Read full paper Subscribe to the IICJ
United Kingdom Management Utility April 2009 Vol. 2, No. 7, Spring 2009

Mike Butcher

More

Michael Butcher is General Counsel and Company Secretary of Veolia Environment UK Limited, the British holding company of Veolia Environnement SA - the world's largest supplier of environmental services - and the Legal Director and Company Secretary of Veolia Water UK PLC. Previously he was Group Legal Director and Company Secretary of Eurotunnel. Prior to then he had a career in Europe and the USA in Exxon's Law Department. Michael is the External Auditor of Trinity College London, a director of Central Railway Limited and a Consultant to City of London law firm Reynolds Porter Chamberlain and to French law firm Triplet & Associes. He graduated from Keele University with a BA honours degree in Philosophy and Law and is a Barrister. Michael is a Bencher of the Honourable Society of Gray’s Inn, a past President of the Franco-British Lawyers Society and has been honoured by France and made Officier dans l'Ordre National du Merite.

Veolia Environment UK Limited

More

Veolia Environmental Services has been present in the United Kingdom since 1990. As the leading UK waste management organisation with 2008 revenues above £1.3 billion, Veolia Environmental Services employs almost 12,500 employees across the spectrum of services in waste management and cleaning. Veolia Environmental Services is renowned for its integrated waste management and environmental services to local communities and industry. We provide a range of services including refuse collection, recycling, waste treatment and street cleansing to over 16 million customers from circa 100 Local Authorities in the UK. We operate a network of landfill sites, materials recovery facilities, transfer stations, civic amenity sites, Energy Recovery facilities and compost sites.

United Kingdom Management Utility April 2009 Vol. 2, No. 7, Spring 2009