Ultimate Counsel

In order to be prosperous, what attributes should a counselor possess? Mundheim: credentials will differ and use of counsel varies dependent upon the company they serve. One feature is key for all businesses integrity. Businesses are turning more to the general advice to provide advice that goes beyond compliance. A proposed course of action might raise reputational issues for the business. The general counsel is likely have an opinion about them and to spot problems. Additionally, the general counsel could be asked for her judgment on individuals. Her understanding of a legal environment is developing should provide a foundation on which to give advice in taking company initiatives or preparation transactions to the counsel.

For your general counsel for an efficient counselor, the Chief executive officer alongside other senior managers must be sure the general counselor or her employees are included early in the preparation and decision making process, and are seen as partners in the business process. General counsel should help mold initiatives or these transactions so that they do not transgressing in areas that would damage the reputation of the corporation and fulfill with requirements. Counsel’s function as a partner to senior administration does create tensions. General counsel should retain the capacity to create decisions that are eyed and to have your backbone to raise problems if the course of action raises problems of compliance.

An additional strain may stem from the general counsel’s responsibilities to your board of company directors, which is the highest authority inside your corporation, your general counsel’s only client. For instance, when discussing a transaction with the Chief executive officer, the general counsel might raise certain reputational or potential legal problems. Nonetheless, the Chief executive officer might determine that these problems are outweighed by the company advantage the transaction provides. Throughout your board discussion on this transaction, if your Chief executive officer doesn’t raise any one of the problems raised by the general counselor, the general counselor can have an obligation to bring such problems to the board’s attention. A clever general counselor knows how to work with the Chief executive officer, will alert him before your board meeting of your importance of your CEO’s raising these problems with the board, thus avoiding having it appear that your general counselor is attempting to upstage the CEO.

Editor: How does a general counselor develop a relationship with your board of directors? Mundheim: In order to have a trusting relationship with your general counselor in order that board members receive full information and early warning of problems, your board or your chairman of a committee, like Audit, ought to reach out to the legal counsel to develop a personal relationship.