The best seat in the house: the unique role of the modern GC

The Inside View |

Richard Tapp argues that GCs can define their companies like never before.

‘So, what do you do?’ A straightforward question – in my case asked by a new chairman, clearly expecting a simple answer. But, for any in-house lawyer, where to start? Do you talk about your legal specialism? About the business risks that you identify and manage? About the way you provide and source legal advice? Or that you keep your chairman out of jail? [Continue Reading]


  • Richard Tapp, General Counsel, Carillion, The In-House Lawyer

    General Counsel, Carillion

Profile: John Tribolati, JPMorgan Chase

Profile |

The investment bank’s EMEA GC on tackling the growth of global regulation and avoiding potholes along the way.

There’s a school of thought that says ‘never go back’ to a former lover or job. But having spent eight years at JPMorgan Chase & Co in the 1990s, a phone call from the investment bank’s ‘very persuasive’ general counsel Stacey Friedman in 2015 made John Tribolati’s decision to return to his old shop very easy. ‘It was an opportunity to have my own gig,’ he says. [Continue Reading]

Just remember, GCs, Enron thought it was all perfectly legal

Comment |

Stefan Stern argues these days a legal defence alone can prove no defence.

Last month the 67th annual oil and gas conference was held by the Center for American and International Law in Houston. Lucky delegates got to hear from a special guest speaker – CFO magazine’s chief financial officer of the year, 2000. The speaker displayed the trophy he had received for his work, and then held up another item – a red prison ID card. He had been given both these things, he remarked, for the same activity – doing deals for Enron, the collapsed energy company. [Continue Reading]


  • Stefan Stern, The Financial Times / Cass Business School, The In-House Lawyer

    The Financial Times / Cass Business School

GCs have scraped a seat at the table but too many are wasting the opportunity

Comment |

Paul Gilbert argues too many corporate counsel fail to seize the risk agenda.

Barclays, Volkswagen and Tesco are three massive businesses in three significant, sophisticated and important business sectors. Each one of these successful and long-lived businesses has access to significant in-house legal expertise, each is capable of paying for the best legal advice money can buy, each has invested heavily in risk management. And all of them are now paying the price for poor decisions made by some senior people behaving badly, very badly. [Continue Reading]

Significant matters

Agenda |

Policing in-house counsel

The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) launched a consultation in January on whether in-house lawyers at finance houses should be policed under the incoming Senior Managers Regime, in an attempt to clarify uncertainties regarding the overall responsibility of an in-house legal function under FCA’s rules. Bringing lawyers under the regime, designed to boost accountability in the City, could potentially usher in yet another front for finance counsel and conflict with the professional regulation of solicitors. [Continue Reading]


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

A title fit for the modern GC

Leader |

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. [Continue Reading]

Legal pathway to the story of the century

A big story with huge implications for in-house counsel, Catherine McGregor interviews The Guardian’s Gill Phillips to find out how she managed the Snowden leak saga.

Opening Statements |

GC: Obviously the Snowden story was a huge scoop for The Guardian. How did you first hear about it, and what were your initial thoughts?

Gill Phillips (GP): I was actually in Australia as we were in the process of opening our office there. I got a cryptic phone call from Alan Rusbridger [then editor-in-chief] one night saying, ‘I can’t really talk about this as using the phone might be unreliable. Could you put me in touch with a US national security lawyer?’ I began to think, ‘Ok, something is going on,’ but I gave him a few names. [Continue Reading]

Brave new worlds

Data protection, cyber crime and patent litigation are all major TMT issues for in-house counsel in 2016 but, as IHL reports, general counsel need to stay focused on the bigger picture.

TMT Overview |

Schadenfreude doesn’t feature much between in-house legal departments, so many general counsel would have winced when TalkTalk chief executive Baroness Harding admitted last year that she didn’t know all the technical details of the cyber breach that could ultimately cost the company £60m and contribute to the loss of 101,000 customers. [Continue Reading]

Myths and Millennials

The legal profession is increasingly obsessed with the challenge of engaging Millennial lawyers. The In-House Lawyer separates buzzword from BS.

Talent Management |

Just what is it that you want to do?
We wanna be free.
We wanna be free to do what we wanna do.
Loaded, Primal Scream

It was a very different legal market in 2007 when Simon Harper and a group of colleagues at Berwin Leighton Paisner geared up for the launch of Lawyers On Demand (LOD). Amid boom time for legal services, few knew what to make of a flexi-lawyering business. Working on initial marketing, the idea was hit upon to draw on the famous freedom refrain from Primal Scream’s 1990 song Loaded (actually a sample from the cult film The Wild Angels). The intent was to reach a new generation of lawyers: a generation that in law and in other industries would increasingly be known as Millennials. The impact was immediate, recalls Harper. ‘What made LOD fly was the changing attitudes to work. Some of the CVs we got were amazing.’ [Continue Reading]

2016 and all that

Business is struggling to find a response as the Brexit vote looms. We team up with Herbert Smith Freehills to explore the impact… and GCs’ options.

In association with Herbert Smith Freehills |

‘One day Alice came to a fork in the road and saw a Cheshire cat in a tree. “Which road do I take?” she asked. “Where do you want to go?” was his response. “I don’t know,” Alice answered. “Then,” said the cat, “it doesn’t matter.”’
Lewis Carroll, Alice in Wonderland

The above passage from Alice in Wonderland, says Daniel Jowell QC of Brick Court Chambers, is apt when planning for the possibility of the UK leaving the EU. [Continue Reading]