At our 2019 Enterprise GC summit in March, one of the set-piece debates united three veteran in-house counsel to reflect on their perspectives in facing a crisis… and how to get through it relatively unscathed.
Simon Levine (SL), co-chief executive, DLA Piper: I had a bit of fun and looked at the article you wrote on me when I first started [as DLA Piper’s co-chief executive, published in our sister publication Legal Business in March 2015].
Last year’s risk management and professional indemnity report with broker Marsh told a story of progress; firms felt risk culture had significantly improved in the ten years since Lehman Brothers’ collapse. However, risk remains a moving target and there is a feeling recent unpleasant episodes at a number of City law firms means much-touted improvements in culture have yet to include progress in professional ethics.
‘I’m a great believer in the risk team playing a key part in defining a firm’s culture,’ says Walkers’ chief compliance officer Angela Robertson. ‘Fundamentally, risk teams enforce types of appropriate behaviour, whether dealing with clients or third parties. So it being involved in defining culture is no different really. Currently risk teams don’t have a specific remit to do so though.’ [Continue Reading]
Sabine Chalmers was concerned about coming back to the UK. Absent for more than two decades, most recently in the US as chief legal and corporate affairs officer at drinks giant Anheuser-Busch InBev, she had built a reputation as one of the leading lights of the general counsel community. But when she first left the UK, the GC role lacked stature, particularly in contrast to the US. ‘I was concerned about how a UK role would compare to the experience I’d had in the US.’ [Continue Reading]
Lloyds Banking Group is looking at slimming its UK roster with a number of firms set to jostle for places in 2019. Currently the core panel comprises CMS, Eversheds Sutherland, Herbert Smith Freehils, Hogan Lovells, Addleshaw Goddard and Magic Circle duo Linklaters and Allen & Overy. The bank’s last panel review was in 2016, when Norton Rose Fulbright and DLA Piper lost their places. Group GC Kate Cheetham is expected to lead the process, with a further reduction in size anticipated. [Continue Reading]
‘Forgive my ignorance, can you tell me what you mean by PRIME? What is it exactly?’ asks one partner at a top-25 UK law firm, a partner charged with responsibility for overseeing apprenticeships at a firm with membership to that same cross-industry group. [Continue Reading]
As a long-term observer of the legal profession, I view the development of GCs with an oxymoronic mix of admiration and cynicism. Admiration because common claims about the dramatic improvements in the calibre and size of the talent pool in the in-house profession are that rarest of beasts: a received wisdom that turns out on inspection to be largely true. Cynicism because those strides are often mixed with unwillingness to tackle the ethical and practical implications that come with increased clout. [Continue Reading]
What is it like to work as a lawyer in the fast-paced, risk-laden, tech-driven ‘disruptive’ company? How do general counsel find the right level of resource in a company where legal is viewed as anathema to impatient entrepreneurs? When is a lawyer not a lawyer? [Continue Reading]
When Brent Irvin joined Tencent as group general counsel nine years ago, the Chinese upstart was already a tech wunderkind, boasting revenue close to RMB20bn. But few foresaw the trajectory it would take from there: with dramatic growth in 2017, the company is now valued at more than $477bn. [Continue Reading]