10% of Companies Name a New General Counsel—New Leaders, New Rules

10% of large organizations started 2014 with a new General Counsel in place. This is just the beginning as baby boomers start to retire and Gen X steps in to fill their shoes.

A laser focus on efficiency and supporting the business spark these new GCs to spearhead innovative changes. These GCs—adept at operating under low-growth, constrained legal budgets—are looking to shake up the role of the legal department. We have seen the new GCs:

  • Reorganize to better support business units and business goals
  • Shake up the core law firm roster—new GCs typically bring in at least one new law firm to take on a substantive role
  • Aggressively attack on litigation spending
  • Tenaciously drive revenue-generating areas: IP, Regulatory, M&A

Change Breeds Opportunity

So what do you do when your major client lands a new GC?

The more aggressive law firms will not wait to be asked for a briefing. Outperforming competitors demands being proactive and finding a way to make yourself part of the transition team.

  1. Reach out immediately to set up a meeting with the new GC—GCs will find time in their busy schedule if there’s a clear benefit for them or their organization
    • Come armed with one of the following:
  2. -    Solutions to top issues

    -    Opportunities to settle matters

    -    Advice on implementing change

  3. Listen with your whole body and be ready with your most probing questions
  4. Block out time in your schedule to develop a comprehensive game plan
  5. Follow up with your new GC within 3 weeks to share your recommendations and strategies for moving ahead

Some will view the new GC as a threat—but those who see opportunity will have the advantage.

MBR & JPD

P.S. The data in today's post comes straight from the pages of our upcoming report: BTI's Benchmarking Corporate Counsel Management Strategies. Subscribe at the top right corner of this page to receive your complimentary copy of the report as soon as it's released.