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A title fit for the modern GC

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With this issue of The In-House Lawyer we are unveiling a total overhaul of the magazine first launched over 20 years ago. The title, the first dedicated to the UK’s expanding community of corporate counsel, has long been an important part of the stable of our parent company Legalease, which is committed to expanding its links with general counsel. But IHL was in need of investment and a thorough re-imagining if it was to remain a magazine worthy of the modern in-house counsel.

As such IHL has been shifted from monthly to quarterly format, allowing us to produce a more considered, crafted and substantive read bringing together a comprehensive range of pieces relevant to GCs in every issue. Not that we are producing less journalism – quite the reverse – we have committed additional reporting and each edition will be much larger than in its monthly predecessor. We have also invested in high-quality paper stock and higher production values.

The title will mix detailed reporting of the coalface of commercial practice, with broader coverage of the concerns, views and lives of in-house counsel at a period in which the opportunities but also demands of the role have never been greater. This approach can be seen in our cover feature, ‘Passion plays’, where we talk to the restless general counsel who somehow fit in major outside commitments beyond friends, family and a highly demanding job.

We also take the time to collect some broader reflections from the industry’s genuine heavyweights in our Perspectives interview, in this issue hearing from BAE Systems head of legal Philip Bramwell, a veteran present at the birth of the UK in-house profession.

Each issue will also bring you opinions and views. LBC Wise Counsel’s astute founder Paul Gilbert will be writing a regular column, alongside another regular contributor, Stefan Stern, well known for his management columns in The Financial Times and The Guardian. Carillion general counsel Richard Tapp also gives us a preview of a book he is editing with contributions from some of the UK’s top GCs.

As part of the relaunch we have overhauled our legal developments section to shift away from news-driven pieces in favour of senior practitioners giving a considered market view. We have also moved from publishing across a range of practice areas to bring in an industry focus for each issue, allowing for a more insightful take. This issue focuses on the TMT sector and includes pieces from respected practitioners at PwC Legal, Simmons & Simmons and Herbert Smith Freehills.

Aside from producing a wealth of fresh journalism, IHL will also draw on some of the best journalism from sister titles Legal Business and GC relevant to the in-house community.

You can also expect interviews and views from those at the top of their game with the spring edition talking to senior lawyers from JP Morgan, BT, Sky, Credit Suisse, Shell, The Crown Estate, ITV, Oaktree Capital, Aviva, Tyco, DMGT and Roche to name a few.

The new IHL is designed to be kept and referred back to and we believe now has the quality and craft readers would expect from the team behind Legal Business.

What you won’t be reading in the new IHL is constant pandering to the ego of GCs. It is a given that the in-house community has come of age and redefined their relationship with external counsel. With that maturity should come a willingness to also explore the challenges and tougher questions that this expanded role brings rather than defaulting to a monotone celebratory tone. We hope to be a friend to the in-house community but not an unquestioning one.

We hope you like the new-look IHL. Your feedback will be invaluable in shaping the editions ahead.

alex.novarese@legalease.co.uk