Great Expectations: The Changing Role of In-house Counsel and the Rise of the Legal Business Executive
Vicki Bradin, Associate General Counsel, Misys plc, UK
Within the legal community there has been increased commentary on the changing nature of the role played by in-house counsel inside the businesses they serve. At the same time, those within these businesses are giving voice to their growing expectation that their in-house lawyers should deliver more than pure legal expertise. As a result we have witnessed the rise of the in-house lawyer as business executive; a lawyer who influences decision making within their organisation and acts as a key part of the leadership team which sets the course the company will follow. These lawyers have moved beyond providing mere legal analysis or limiting their involvement to document drafting and negotiating. This breed of in-house lawyer has learned to walk the tightrope of being a commercially savvy and strategically minded business leader with the legal knowledge and resolve to keep their company away from legal pitfalls and on the straight and narrow. A tall order indeed.
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