GC2B: The role of the GC in times of change

In the past month the UK has seen a seismic change in its economic, political and social environment. Very few UK-based companies, across all industries and sectors, will not have felt at least some of the effects of the monumental decision to leave the EU, whether positive or negative. Lawyers in private practice and in-house will be now be dealing with issues and situations they have never faced before – and none more so than general counsel (GC).


So what do times of significant change mean for GCs? Whilst the UK’s decision to leave the EU has dominated every part of the news and political agenda for the past few weeks – and will do for the foreseeable future – other situations can also have a big impact on the GC’s role. How might the recent military coup in Turkey have affected a GC at an international travel company? How did GCs deal with the reputational fallout of the Panama Papers affair as the leaks developed? New pressures and demands impact on legal teams and create a shift that can, in many cases, blow long-term strategies and short-term priorities off course. Can GCs use this as an opportunity to integrate themselves and their teams more deeply into the business and become an even more important and reliable counsel for the senior stakeholders? Can certain situations offer the GC the chance to extend their role as a trusted strategic and commercial adviser to the business beyond their core offering of legal advice?

Our upcoming roundtable will explore what such moments can offer to the role of GCs and senior legal teams as they seek to guide their businesses through a changing landscape and out the other side. It will identify the pressures that hit GCs at such times, what the opportunities might be in extreme situations, whether or not GCs can use crises as career-defining opportunities and how they can best help to navigate their company through an ever-changing landscape.

‘Never let a good crisis go to waste’

Has there ever been a more appropriate time for in-house counsel to carefully consider the meaning of the famous quote attributed to Winston Churchill – “Never let a good crisis go to waste”? Facilitated and chaired by The Lawyer editor Catrin Griffiths and BLP managing partner Lisa Mayhew, the discussion will be written up as a feature in The Lawyer.

We want to hear from experienced GCs who are interested in passing on their knowledge to the next generation of in-house lawyers, as well as those newer to the role and keen to learn from some of the best.

GC2B is an initiative from The Lawyer and Berwin Leighton Paisner

If you would like to be part of this upcoming roundtable, to be held at The Royal Exchange, London on 6 September 2016, please contact Emma Bower at The Lawyer – emma.bower@centaurmedia.com – to register your interest.