In-House Interrogatory

Risky_BusinessBeing a general counsel can be risky business.

And the challenge could be getting a company’s board to accept that.

Continue reading

In-House Interrogatory

Asked: Our weekly question to the In-House community

The former general counsel at Mercedes-Benz UK is going virtual.

Iain Larkins has opened Radius Law — a virtual law firm. Larkins said he has created an entirely new business model for the commercial law firm in which attorneys work from home.

Here’s our question for you:

Do you think a virtual law firm founded by a general counsel will succeed?

Leave a comment below or email me.

Need to Know:

Follow us on Twitter for In-House news and discussion: @TDRInHouse

In-House Interrogatory

strategyAsked: Our weekly question to the In-House community

General counsels are getting strategic.

In-house counsel say they are playing a bigger role in their companies’ commercial strategy, according to a survey by The Global Legal Post.

About 90 percent reported offering more commercial advice to the corporation and 68 percent of corporate counsels said they help more with commercial strategy compared to five years ago.

Here’s our question for you:

Have you experienced a bigger role in your company’s commercial strategy?

Leave a comment below or email me.

Need to Know:

Follow us on Twitter for In-House news and discussion: @TDRInHouse

In-House Interrogatory

PINNOCHIOAsked: Our weekly question to the In-House community

As a general counsel, it’s important to always let your conscience be your guide, or so says an article in Corporate Counsel.

Attorney David Peterson, the former premier of Ontario, says a general counsel should be like the conscience of a company, just as Jiminy Cricket was for Pinocchio:

I understand the difficulties in the real world. But how is capitalism going to save itself? How do we do the right thing? Whose job is it? . . . Increasingly a smart CEO is going to have a really smart general counsel as part of the team, who always reminds people of their responsibilities.

Here’s our question for you:

How does a general counsel act as the conscience of his or her company?

Leave a comment below or email me.

Need to Know:

  • Vail Resorts’ general counsel resigned.
  • The University of Wisconsin-Madison named an attorney to lead its legal team.
  • FORMA Therapeutics named a new general counsel.
  • The hole gets a little deeper for Penn State’s former general counsel.

Follow us on Twitter for In-House news and discussion: @TDRInHouse

In-House Interrogatory

Asked: Our weekly question to the In-House community

In-house counsel need to be more involved in reviewing executive compensation, according to a new study by Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom.

The reason, according to the study, is a spike in lawsuits against management and directors alleging that executives breached fiduciary duties when making compensation decisions.

The study recommends that general counsels review these compensation decisions beforehand in order to avoid new waves of litigation.

So here’s our question for you:

Should in-house counsel review executive compensation?

Leave a comment below or email me.

Need to Know:

  • Syracuse University named a new general counsel.
  • The general counsel of Georgetown College in Kentucky is one of the finalists to be the university’s next president.
  • Microsoft’s general counsel joined Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s political action group.
  • President Barack Obama’s nomination for the new transportation chief, Anthony R. Foxx, was once deputy general counsel of DesignLine USA LLC.
  • Catholic Charities USA named a new general counsel.
  • A general counsel of an Arizona school system was fired by the school board.
  • The U.S. Department of Treasury’s new general counsel was confirmed.

Follow us on Twitter for In-House news and discussion: @TDRInHouse

In-House Interrogatory

Asked: Our weekly question to the In-House community

This year will be all about discrimination and wage-and-hour lawsuits, according to general counsels at companies in the U.S. and Britain.

A survey by Fulbright & Jaworski found 35 percent of in-house attorneys expected the biggest bump in their workload to come from discrimination disputes. Around 29 percent thought wage-and-hour disputes would be the largest increase at their companies.

So here’s our question for you:

Do you think your company will see an increase in discrimination and wage-and-hour claims? Or will workplace overload come from a different kind of lawsuit?

Leave a comment below or email me.

Continue reading

In-House Interrogatory

Asked: Our weekly question to the In-House community

It’s all about saving those dollar bills in this week’s In-House Interrogatory.

There are ways legal departments can effectively cut costs, according to an article in Corporate Counsel.

Experts recommend doing more work in-house, using non-lawyer professionals, take on legal operations managers, investing in legal technologies and unbundling legal services.

So here’s our question for you:

What are ways you cut costs in your legal department?

Leave a comment below or email me.

Need to Know:

Follow us on Twitter for In-House news and discussion: @TDRInHouse

In-House Interrogatory

Asked: Our weekly question to the In-House community

Aaaahh! It’s all about crisis management in this week’s In-House Interrogatory.

In-House Counsel has an article about how general counsels can approach crises and impending lawsuits at their companies. Some say experience is the key; others say to prepare for the worst. Some general counsels recommended investigating immediately once a crisis hits and, of course, trying to keep stress low.

So here’s our question for you:

In your experience, what is the best way to prepare for potential crises at your company?

Leave a comment below or email me.

Continue reading

In-House Interrogatory

Asked: Our weekly question to the In-House community

Companies could be at risk for cyberattacks. At least according to their general counsels.

A new survey by Consero Group found that 30 percent of general counsels believe their companies are not prepared for a potential cyberattack. And about 28 percent surveyed said there had been a cybersecurity breach at their company in the last year.

So here’s our question for you:

Has your company discussed cyberattacks? What role does a general counsel play in protecting against cybersecurity breaches?

Leave a comment below or email me.

Need to Know:

  • Washington, D.C.’s attorney general’s office defended its use of outside counsel in a wrongful arrest case.
  • Clearing House hired a new senior associate general counsel.
  • Barclays’ general counsel resigned in the wake of scandal.
  • Lessons for GC’s from Abraham Lincoln.

Follow us on Twitter for In-House news and discussion: @TDRInHouse

In-House Interrogatory

Asked: Our weekly question to the In-House community

This week, we take a look at in-house life on the other side of the world.

An increasing number of Japanese lawyers are heading in-house, The Global Legal Post reports. There are now 770 Japanese attorneys working in-house compared to 64 ten years ago, according to the Japan Federation of Bar Associations.

Some experts said the rise was a result of companies wanting to save money on outside counsel in the wake of economic troubles following the earthquake and tsunami in 2011. Others said it was simply because the number of attorneys in Japan has risen exponentially in recent years. Since 2005, 12,000 new attorneys have joined the job pool.

So here’s our question for you:

Does it make sense for a company to hire in-house counsel during trying economic times following a natural disaster like Japan’s?

Leave a comment below or email me.

Need to Know:

Follow us on Twitter for In-House news and discussion: @TDRInHouse