Sea Change in GC Role Requires New Competencies
E. Leigh Dance, Corporate Counsel
The demands on general counsel from their boards of directors and other stakeholders have grown in countless ways. While general counsel appreciate the rewards of their raised profile in the company, they also recognize the potential landmines. Corporate governance demands translate to more work, higher stakes and far greater finesse on the part of the general counsel.
Some general counsel are admirably meeting the new challenges, presented in a new study I compiled for the Global Counsel Leaders Circle: “Sea Change: How New Corporate Governance Demands are Elevating the General Counsel’s Job.” One executive interviewed said, “General counsel are expected to have a better understanding of the working of the board, and play the role of both ‘man of affairs’ and keeper of corporate conscience, not just technical lawyer.
The last few years have brought big changes for general counsel, and for many a rise to a role of greater prominence within their companies. Audit, tax and advisory firm KPMG has updated a report it first issues in 2012 based on a telephone survey with general counsel around the world, which showed that GCs are shifting from being strictly legal advisers to being business advisers too.
KPMG followed up on that data by conducting a series of new interviews with GCs from large corporations in North America, Asia-Pacific and Europe, to find out what challenges they are facing. The resulting report, “Over the Horizon: How corporate counsel are crossing frontiers to address new challenges,” shows that GCs are increasingly involved in commercial decision-making, particularly when it relates to risk management.
Paralegal pay rises, nears $80 an hour for top positions, survey says
Martha Neil, ABA Journal
Hourly pay rates for paralegals and other support staff rose last year at both law firms and corporate law departments, a survey says.
On average, base pay for paralegals went up to $36.57 at law firms and to $34.30 at corporate law departments, according to ALM Legal Intelligence and the International Practice Management Association. Nearly 300 law firms and law departments participated, providing information about 9,500 positions, a press release explains.
Highest paid GCs equipped with high level of business acumen
Ed Silverstein, InsideCounsel
It’s the dream of many in-house attorneys–and even many of their colleagues working at law firms–to earn a spot on the list that shows the highest-paid general counsel.
But before going on a personal shopping spree, specialists in the placement of lawyers at companies caution there are some common threads on each person who makes such a list.
Developing leaders in the legal department, part 2
Rich Steeves, InsideCounsel
The discussion of leadership in the legal department is ongoing, as general counsel increasingly find themselves sitting at the table, and involved in making difficult business decisions. But the process is not as straightforward as it may seem. Existing leadership in the legal department must look closely at the lawyers on their team and help them determine their own strengths and weaknesses. Those same leaders must be willing to push their direct reports until their own performance is challenged by the strong lawyers on their team.
Learning Leadership and Lovin’ It
Rich Steeves, InsideCounsel
One of the perks of working for a fast food giant, is the opportunity to super size your leadership skills. And, if you are a member of the legal team headed up by Gloria Santona, executive vice president, general counsel and secretary at McDonald’s, you have several leadership opportunities on the menu.
First, is the company-wide leadership program, which is open to one participant from each department annually. “Each year, we go through all of our attorney staff and decide what kind of development opportunity will benefit them individually, then select one who is ready for the experience,” explains Santona.
David Cambria, Director of Global Operations – Law, Compliance and Government Affairs, Archer Daniels Midland, has joined the Institute for Law Department Excellence Faculty staff.
David is an attorney and proven leader with broad business, legal and technology experience who engages and influences stakeholders across organizations to realize improved business outcomes and returns on investment. Continually seeks out the “voice” of employees, clients, end users and executives to gain insight necessary in formulating the vision, strategy and action plans for technology-enabled process improvement and organizational transformation. Possess a natural talent for understanding of the impact of operational and organizational change on technical implementations and business functions. Extensive experience defining and prioritizing goals to inspire and motivate high performing teams in an entrepreneurial and ever changing environment. Creative thinker and intelligent risk taker who drives efficiency and scalability while effectively aligning resources to the needs of the businesses. In depth understanding of foreign and domestic organizations, professional services, technology, finance/risk management, and insurance. Proven ability to identify and execute on cost savings and integration strategies. Published business author.