Becoming a True Partner to the Business
Julie Preng, Managing Director, Legal Specialty Practice, Korn, USA
CEOs and directors today demand a general counsel who operates as a partner to the business, as involved in strategy formulation and execution as any member of the company’s senior management team. Long gone is the notion that being a talented technician alone is the ticket to success for budding chief legal officers.
“The general counsel, as curious, broad-gauged business partner, must help define, debate and develop business positions on broad company issues,” Ben W. Heineman, Jr. the former general counsel of General Electric Co. has said. They should be “at the table,” according to Heineman, on “key operational initiatives, economic risk assessment and mitigation, major transactions, new strategic directions … important template contracts, resolution of major disputes … and major accounting decisions that have a forensic dimension.”
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