Profile: Piers Le Marchant, JPMorgan Chase & Co

The global investment bank’s chief compliance officer discusses his storied career and the joys of handling a crisis

Profile |

Pierre Le Marchant, JPMorgan Chase & Co‘The fantastic, wonderful part about being in-house is working with massively stimulating people. There’s this misconception that you outsource talent. You don’t.’ So says Piers Le Marchant, chief compliance officer for corporate and investment banking at JPMorgan Chase & Co. [Continue Reading]

A buyers’ market

The trend for reduced panels has seen law firms put through their paces by clients eager to drive innovation and control spend. The In-House Lawyer reviews the reviews.

Adviser reviews |

In-house teams may have grown in size and stature over recent years, but their external adviser panels are definitely shrinking. As a result, law firms find themselves increasingly at the sharp end during adviser reviews (see box ‘Cutting back’, below), with clients pushing for better rates, greater efficiencies and added extras.

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A private function

Working under the radar, in-house lawyers in the fast-paced world of private equity operate in a unique environment.

Analysis |

Unlike their private practice counterparts, in-house private equity (PE) lawyers prefer a low profile. Or, as one private practice partner puts it: ‘PE is a murky, sharp-elbowed world. In-house lawyers like to stay out of the limelight.’ [Continue Reading]

Northern Lights

Outside the limelight of London’s legal community, Scotland’s GCs toil in low profile. The In-House Lawyer assesses the talent north of the border

Scotland |

The professional life of a public company general counsel in Scotland can feel isolated at times. As a member of a small club, opportunities to plug into the professional networks that their peers in the South East of England take for granted can be limited. ‘We do get a sense sometimes that we are a decreasing community!’ confesses Christopher Morgan, GC and company secretary at Glasgow-based engineering plc Weir Group. ‘Certainly the number of Scottish-based plc GCs is thin on the ground and
it’s dwindling.’

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Mishcon de Reya has enjoyed unrivalled financial success in recent years over its City peers. The In-House Lawyer asks: what’s the secret formula?

Adviser focus |

In 1994, a young South African lawyer named Kevin Gold was sitting in his office at central London practice Bayer Rosin flipping a coin to decide the future of the firm he ran. ‘Heads or tails… Olswang or SJ Berwin…’ A third, lesser-known firm was also at the back of his mind: Mishcon de Reya. It was no coincidence the three firms were vying for Bayer’s hand. Formed in 1985 and specialising in litigation, corporate, private client and real estate work, the nine-partner firm was a highly profitable little outfit with revenues of £9m and strong ties to lucrative South African business.

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The new judges

With new legislation putting human rights on the business agenda, we teamed up with Herbert Smith Freehills to gather lawyers and experts from a range of industries to debate the key issues

Business and human rights debate in association with Herbert Smith Freehills |

In our recent Insight report on business and human rights – published in September in association with Herbert Smith Freehills – we noted how the arrival of the Modern Slavery Act (MSA) in the UK in 2015 has crystallised awareness of the human rights concerns in business. We heard from in-house human rights experts how the debate over the last 15 years had moved beyond a vague concept to which lip service had been paid to become a mainstream business consideration, combining legal liability with potentially devastating reputational risk.

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On the menu

Barclays is in the middle of a two-year overhaul of its legal team to radically boost transparency and efficiency. IHL caught up with Bob Hoyt’s chief of staff Alison Gaskins to learn more

Procurement |

Alison Gaskins’ remit on joining Barclays’ legal department was formidable. Group general counsel Bob Hoyt told her in no uncertain terms: ‘I want to be able to have a conversation with my CEO which clearly states what the legal department is doing for its internal customers, including what it costs and why it costs what it does.’ A former management consultant with over ten years’ experience in COO and change management roles at Barclays, even Gaskins was initially daunted by the scope of this request. But it became clear that by understanding the underlying economics of Barclays’ legal department and how they can be influenced, it would be possible to revolutionise how legal services were delivered to the business. The process has to date covered five interlinked aspects: matter management, e-billing, the law firm panel, lawyer time recording and management information (MI).

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Beyond Boundaries

Harvard’s Heidi Gardner argues that smart collaboration will become key to success for GCs in an increasingly complex business world

Collaboration |

Collaboration has, admittedly, become something of a buzzword in the legal profession these days. But all signs suggest that it is far more than a passing fad. Throughout the legal world, as in most knowledge-based industries, two trends are crashing together. On the one hand, vast increases in knowledge are forcing professionals to specialise, whether by discipline, geography or problem class. On the other hand, vast increases in the complexity of today’s problems call for those specialists to collaborate across disciplinary and organisational boundaries to tackle those sophisticated issues. In short, the tension between these two trends is what produces the need for effective collaboration.

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  • Heidi Gardner, , The In-House Lawyer

The picture of risk

DAC Beachcroft’s Ben Daniels on the importance of establishing the context in which GCs manage risk

The Risk Survey - IHL and DAC Beachcroft |

The multi-faceted nature of risk makes it a complex subject to manage. Formal structures and a pro-active approach can support both the handling of effective risk management and mitigation, as well as a crisis. The general counsel has an important part to play at all stages. Having an effective relationship with the business, as well as experience in areas such as M&A, health and safety, competition, compliance, regulatory and reputation management (to name but a few), can see the GC as ringmaster. However, wherever the GC is not seen as core to the organisation, they will be trying to defend the organisation from the sidelines. [Continue Reading]


  • Ben Daniels, , The In-House Lawyer