Systems v talent – clients will have to choose

From the perspective of a GC at a major multinational, which will be the key external adviser over the next ten years, the legal firm that is top decile at attracting, motivating and retaining the best talent throughout its business?

Leader |

From the perspective of a GC at a major multinational, which will be the key external adviser over the next ten years, the legal firm that is top decile at attracting, motivating and retaining the best talent throughout its business? Or the institution that excels at building market-leading systems, processes and technology? Put another way: which approach will provide competitive advantage and dominance over the other camp?
[Continue Reading]

Significant matters – Autumn 2017

Agenda |

Unsettled Lloyds legal team reports to finance

The legal team at Lloyds Banking Group (LBG) now reports to the bank’s finance team after the group’s latest reorganisation, which also saw the departure of chief people, legal and strategy officer and ex-Linklaters managing partner Simon Davies, after less than two years.

The move has shifted responsibility for the legal and strategy teams to LBG’s chief financial officer George Culmer, with group general counsel Kate Cheetham reporting directly to him.

The changes, which were implemented from 4 September 2017, will also see Cheetham attend the group’s executive committee. António Horta Osório, LBG’s group chief executive, said the changes were fundamental to prepare the group for its upcoming strategic plan for the 2018-20 period.

[Continue Reading]


  • The In-House Lawyer, , The In-House Lawyer

Profile: Mark Cooper, Cadent Gas

The general counsel and company secretary of the newly-formed gas company on the importance of saying ‘yes’

Profile |

Within a month of Mark Cooper joining National Grid (NG)’s in-house team in 2015, things became very busy very quickly. UK general counsel Rachael Davidson told him that one of the businesses he was looking after – NG’s gas distribution network – was going to be sold off.

[Continue Reading]

Profile: David Fein, Standard Chartered Bank

The former law firm partner turned banking giant GC on his globally-demanding role

Profile |

As a former senior staffer in the Clinton administration, David Fein has a tendency to chart his career and life against the backdrop of US politics. While working as a state district attorney, it was early in Barack Obama’s second presidential term that Fein found himself getting wistful for a new chapter, one that would see him become general counsel of the FTSE 100 banking group Standard Chartered in his first move in-house. ‘I wanted something new and so I thought something I hadn’t done was be a general counsel.’

[Continue Reading]

GC 2.0

We gathered more than 70 in-house counsel for our GC Powerlist Summer Reception to talk tech, disruption and building your own job.

GC Powerlist: Summer Reception |

Do you know your cash-burn phase from your TLDNR? Welcome to the buccaneering, hierarchy-lite world of the fast-growth, tech-driven ‘disruptors’, the kind of business that a growing number of lawyers aspire to work in or advise.

[Continue Reading]

Education, education, education

The in-house profession is growing in scale, ambition and sophistication. So why is it so difficult to get the training that aspiring GCs need?

Professional Development |

Speaking at the Westminster Legal Policy Forum recently, renowned industry futurologist Richard Susskind accused the UK’s law schools of being stuck in the 1970s, preparing graduates to undertake work that will become increasingly uncommon while failing to train aspiring solicitors in the new technologies that will replace much of the work lawyers now do.

[Continue Reading]

Over to you: assessing your training need in the age of ‘continuing competence’

Legal training specialists Central Law Training outline the opportunities for in-house lawyers presented by the
SRA’s updated CPD regime

Central Law Training Advertorial |

In October 2017, solicitors will make their first declaration that they have ‘reflected on and addressed any identified learning and development needs’. Continuing professional development (CPD) is the latest aspect of solicitors’ lives to convert to an outcomes-focused approach, under the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA)’s continuing competence regime. [Continue Reading]


Beware the Black Swan

McKinsey’s crisis response leader, Mihir Mysore, discusses the unique role in-house legal departments play in times of crisis.

Crisis Response |

Imagine the worst: within the last 72 hours, your company has been hit by a major crisis. There may have been serious damage to the community in which you operate. Your customers may have suffered, people’s livelihoods may have been destroyed, the environment may be irretrievably damaged. Some of your employees and contractors may be injured, or worse. Your investors will be livid, and the board looking to assign blame. By the end of the first week, chances are your organisation will be facing dozens of lawsuits, some set to become class actions over time.

[Continue Reading]

Whose dime?

As Deutsche Bank baulks at paying for junior lawyers, is a tough line on ‘paying for training’ making its way across the Atlantic?

Procurement |

Even for City lawyers used to increasingly heavy-handed tactics in panel reviews from banking groups, it proved something of a shock. News earlier this year that Deutsche Bank had notified pitching firms of its unwillingness to pay for trainees and newly-qualified lawyers during its last adviser review sent a jolt through the UK legal market. The practice of writing off the time of junior lawyers has been common for years in the US, reflecting in part higher relative salaries, charge-out rates and a propensity to clock up more tangential work as billable hours stateside.

[Continue Reading]

The long, long game

Hopes that Iran’s economy is opening up to foreign business have been raised and then dashed in recent years. Will this year’s election change the dynamic?

Doing business in Iran in association with Herbert Smith Freehills |

On 19 May, Iran went to the polls for what many believed would be a tightly-fought election. By the next morning it was clear that the analysts’ predictions had been wide of the mark. Incumbent president Hassan Rouhani, leader of the Moderation and Development Party, secured a landslide victory over his nearest rival, Ebrahim Raisi, chair of the Popular Front of Islamic Revolution Forces. Shortly after the results were announced, Rouhani appeared on state television to say the election had shown Iran was committed to improving relations with the rest of the world. To investors and businesses that have been eyeing the country for years, it was a positive sign, but hopes of an open market have been dashed before. Sanctions related to Iran’s nuclear programme were lifted in early 2016, but businesses have so far been frustrated in the ongoing difficulties they face in the market.

[Continue Reading]