Significant matters – Autumn 2018

Agenda |

Pearson revisits adviser panel

Pearson has elected to consolidate its legal adviser panels into new ‘general’ and ‘preferred’ rosters, moving away from specialised panels in a bid to reduce costs. Fourteen firms have won places on the preferred panel, which Pearson says will address ‘day-to-day requirements’, in addition to newer areas not historically covered by external counsel, including US immigration and US employment work. Among firms winning spots on the preferred panel were Charles Russell Speechlys, DWF, Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer, Herbert Smith Freehills, Littler Mendelson and Morgan Lewis. Those appointed to the general panel were Bird & Bird, Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton, DLA Piper, Pinsent Masons and Sullivan & Cromwell. The review has been led by general counsel Bjarne Tellmann (below), who emphasised the need for chosen firms to have experience, as well as flexibility over billing. [Continue Reading]


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

Martin Cook, Funding Circle

The jeans-wearing legal chief of the peer-to-peer lender talks TV crews posing as regulators and operating at the forefront of fintech

Profile |

The London office of peer-to-peer lender Funding Circle is exactly what you would expect from one of the UK’s largest and most high-profile fintech businesses. [Continue Reading]


Julie Smyth, BAE Systems Air

The legal chief of the defence giant’s air business on the lawyering behind cutting-edge military kit

Profile |

‘My husband has virtually no understanding of what I do,’ admits BAE Systems Air chief counsel Julie Smyth. ‘He thinks I sit in meetings all day.’ [Continue Reading]


No great advantage

Dominic Grieve, MP for Beaconsfield and former attorney general, hosted The In-House Lawyer at 1 Parliament Street to discuss the state of Brexit negotiations, the impact on the profession and provide insight into Theresa May’s administration

Brexit |

Alex Speirs: Now less than a year out from the UK’s scheduled withdrawal from the EU, how would you characterise the current state of negotiations? [Continue Reading]


‘You don’t want to look like an idiot’ – Making the leap from Magic Circle to the High Court

IHL talks crime and punishment with Mr Justice Murray, who recently moved from a Magic Circle law firm to the Chancery courts

Litigation |

Edward Murray, 60, co-founded Allen & Overy (A&O)’s derivatives practice in 1991 while still a senior associate and was until 2013 the senior partner in its derivatives and structured finance group. On 1 October, The Honourable Mr Justice Murray became one of only three solicitors in history to be appointed directly from private practice as a High Court judge. He will sit in the Queen’s Bench Division. We sat down with the City veteran to talk about an unusual journey. [Continue Reading]


Taking the gloves off

Our recent Commercial Litigation Summit featured a session on the GC perspectives on doing battle – inside court and out

The Commercial Litigation Summit |

The penultimate session of the 2018 Commercial Litigation Summit drew a large audience to hear the views of the most important players in a major dispute – GCs and senior in-house counsel. This debate featured a panel of two private practice litigators – Jenner & Block’s Jason Yardley and Simon Bushell from Signature Litigation, and two senior in-house counsel – Matthew Hibbert of Sky and Tarun Tawakley of Deliveroo. In the middle was a barrister, moderating – Richard Lissack QC of Fountain Court – and a PR veteran, Tim Maltin.

[Continue Reading]


Going places

The legal department of iconic tyre manufacturer Michelin has a strategy for success. Group general counsel Benoit Balmary talks through its eight-point legal manifesto

Case Study |

Leading a global legal team is a complex role and many general counsel could be forgiven for spending all their energy just trying to get the job done. Not so at Michelin. Despite overseeing a legal community of 200 members, comprising lawyers, patent engineers, paralegals and admin staff, spread across 20 countries, group GC Benoit Balmary wanted the team to develop a defined strategy of its own alongside supporting Michelin’s goals. [Continue Reading]


Hired help

Time and cash-poor GCs are turning to non-lawyer professionals to help manage costs and staffing. The In-House Lawyer teamed up with Reed Smith to survey 300 senior counsel on the evolution of legal operations

The New GC Toolkit in association with Reed Smith |

‘A good general counsel should do three things,’ says National Grid’s Alison Kay: ‘Manage the legal requirements of the business, manage their people and manage their budget.’ But as managing the legal requirements of a large business becomes more time consuming, GCs are increasingly finding it difficult to pay adequate attention to costs and staff. [Continue Reading]


The innovation illusion

There is much talk of legal services innovation both in-house and in private practice, but how can GCs separate myth from reality? The In-House Lawyer pierces the veil

The New GC Toolkit in association with Reed Smith |

‘There’s a palpable sense of innovation in the legal industry,’ says Casey Flaherty, founder of legal technology consultancy Procertas. ‘But then,’ he adds, ‘there always has been.’ [Continue Reading]


The discerning customer

In-house teams are using new techniques and recruiting specialists to take a more sophisticated approach to procuring legal services

The New GC Toolkit in association with Reed Smith |

In April last year, US-based tech services provider DXC Technology was formed following the merger of The Hewlett-Packard Company’s enterprise division with Computer Sciences Corporation. It was the ideal opportunity for general counsel Bill Deckelman to sit down with senior management and establish what the legal function should look like. [Continue Reading]