New tools, new challenges

This spring Legalease teamed up with Riverview Law for a conference for in-house counsel focused on cutting-edge automation and AI. EY’s Matthew Whalley gave delegates a view on the prize and the pitfalls

Technology – in association with Riverview Law |

It is possible artificial intelligence will change all our working life immeasurably in the next 20 years. It might put us all out of work; nobody knows. Even if it did happen in 20 years’ time, it is of no use to me in the way that I do my job right now and not much use to you as in-house lawyers to know what might happen. What is important is to understand what is possible now, what you can do with it and what the dangers are of trying to implement technology without thinking through what you are trying to get out of it. I will give some hard-earned experience picked up at the dirty end of a lot of technology projects.

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  • Matthew Whalley, Director of legal risk services, EY, The In-House Lawyer

    Director of legal risk services, EY

Home House truths

Ambition, millennials, corporate guff – The In-House Lawyer gathered more than 60 GCs and FT columnist Lucy Kellaway to debate the pleasures and perils of climbing the greasy pole.

GC Powerlist: Summer Reception |

Should you tweet? How do you relate to the mysterious breed of co-workers called millennials? How should lawyers navigate the rampant office politics of a major plc when they make the move in-house? [Continue Reading]

The art of leadership in Asia

What does leadership mean in a region where the role of the in-house lawyer is rapidly evolving?

Leadership Insight |

‘Becoming an in-house lawyer has not traditionally been a desirable career path for Asia’s top graduates,’ says Amy Ng, general counsel for the Asia-Pacific region at global real estate company CBRE. ‘But we are seeing a lot of change now in the number of people leaving private practice to work for a business.’

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Soft law, hard sanctions

With human rights issues entering the mainstream of business practice, we teamed up with Herbert Smith Freehills to assess how new standards are changing the way in-house counsel operate.

Insight: Business and Human Rights |

banksy_no_dogIt turns out that the next risk front facing business and promising to reshape the role of general counsel is a piece of legislation notorious among lawyers for having no teeth and little direct liability for companies.

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Ready for anything

Lawyers working in financial services face their most unpredictable period yet in a post-Brexit environment. IHL assesses the current state of the industry and asks key players about the shape of things to come.

Financial services overview |

runnerDays after the August bank holiday weekend, the former head of the
British Civil Service, Gus O’Donnell, returned to Whitehall to catch up with former colleagues and host a live broadcast titled The Leavocrats on Radio 4.

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Artificial bad, intelligence good

Comment |

Paul Gilbert argues that AI has become a marketing gimmick that
obscures the shortcomings of legal teams.

The words ‘artificial intelligence’ bother me. I want to have a little rant about the words, but I also want to challenge the way in-house lawyers approach technology. On the words, I can legitimately stand accused of using ignorance as a shield for my laziness, but what bothers me is not that artificial intelligence isn’t clever and potentially useful, but that it sounds like the marketing kids have got hold of the dressing up box again. [Continue Reading]

The next step

An ambitious generation of in-house counsel is determined to take on leadership roles, despite corporate pressure to stay in the box. We ask GCs what it takes to break out as a leader.

Leadership Insight |

wise_051Are in-house counsel ready to be business leaders? It seems a strange question to have to ask given the level of education and training of most in-house lawyers and the dramatic expansion of the size and responsibilities of legal teams over the last 15 years.

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The governance dilemma

Comment |

Stefan Stern forecasts that GCs will be forced to address a renewed
attempt to fix what ails governance in UK plc

Who knew that the staid term ‘corporate governance’ could create so much excitement? That Latinate phrase seems designed to reassure: ‘governance’ suggests order, calm, and mastery. But the chaps in the boardroom – and they still are mostly chaps for all the progress on appointing women directors – had better brace themselves for an interesting few months. [Continue Reading]


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

    The Financial Times / Cass Business School

Profile: Michael Shaw, The Royal Bank of Scotland

The veteran corporate lawyer on memorable moments in deal making and untangling himself from Barclays.

Profile |

Michael Shaw, RBS‘It was ambition that made me decide to leave Barclays,’ declares self-confessed deal junkie Michael Shaw, who resigned from his role as the bank’s deputy general counsel in the summer of 2015. Shaw was eager to pursue a weightier leadership role after six years serving as the ‘apprentice’. Bob Hoyt had succeeded Mark Harding as group GC in 2013 and ‘the only other sensible alternative’ of interest to Shaw was head of legal for investment banking. Pipped to the post by former Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher partner Mark Shelton, an obvious choice as that division serves as Barclays’ crown jewel in the US, Shaw’s ambitions turned elsewhere.

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Getting real – the seven deadly sins of risk factors

Clifford Chance’s Kevin Ingram calls for more pragmatism when drafting securitisation documents

Financial services focus |

church2It is a sporting truism that it is far harder to be axed from the England football squad than it is to be included in the first place. Unfortunately, a similar tendency is apparent with risk factors in public listings of securitisation transactions. While this is true across a range of issues, it is particularly true with risk factors relating to geopolitical events and concerns. Of course, the travails of the financial markets since 2008, the unique nature of the Scottish independence referendum and the shock of the Brexit vote have given much to consider in this respect.

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  • Kevin Ingram, Head of structured debt, The In-House Lawyer

    Head of structured debt