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

Brexit proofing – protecting the UK securitisation market

It’s all change in the regulation of UK structured debt markets – Ropes & Gray’s Chris McGarry and James Jirtle assess the post-Brexit impact on the CLO sector

FInancial services focus |

UprotectionK collateralised loan obligation (CLO) managers have adapted their risk retention structures in response to the EU referendum vote, effectively ‘Brexit-proofing’ their structures in the event of a full Brexit where UK firms do not continue to enjoy financial passporting rights into the EU.

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Debt finance in the UK – still open for business?

White & Case’s Lee Cullinane assesses the upcoming clampdown on tax perks for UK debt financing.

FInancial services focus |

open2The UK has long prized its reputation as an attractive place to do business. Successive governments of all persuasions have consistently taken measures to make sure the UK has the most competitive corporate tax regime across the G20. With its low headline corporate tax rate and generous rules on deductibility of interest compared to other G20 partners, the UK has been ideally positioned as a place for businesses to invest and thrive. [Continue Reading]

Significant matters – Autumn 2016

Agenda |

Panel roundup

Unilever is currently carrying out an informal review of its panel firms, after the existing roster expired in June 2016. Led by operations legal director Saswata Mukherjee, the last panel review began in February 2014 and constituted the company’s first formal panel arrangement.

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

‘Trust the lawyers’ won’t cut it

Are you a Capitulator? A Coaster? A Champion? Comfortably Numb perhaps? To an in-house profession used to having its qualities of leadership and innovation praised to the hilt, the recently-produced report on ethical standards among general counsel from UCL’s Centre for Ethics and Law is an awkward read.

Leader |

The report, Mapping the Moral Compass, is the second stage of an initiative to assess the ethical approach of and pressures on the in-house profession. Based on 400 responses, the report documents what was already apparent anecdotally: employed lawyers face considerable and specific ethical pressure points. While those tensions are not obviously more severe than in private practice, there is a far less developed framework to manage them. [Continue Reading]