The legal world takes it for granted that FTSE100 companies need a general counsel to keep everything in check and advise the board.
But Reckitt Benckiser, GlaxoSmithKline and Corus have turned that received wisdom on its head, having gone for months without legal chiefs.
Christopher Roberts left Reckitt last September, leaving senior lawyers Richard Walker and Clare Allen to share the duties between them on an interim basis. Glaxo has done the same in the wake of Rupert Bondy’s departure and Corus is yet to replace former general counsel Richard Shoylekov, who went to Wolsely last December.
Things seem to be ticking along okay at the moment, but without a big hire or two soon, the legal departments could lack direction.