The Board Ultimatum

October 3, 2013

GCs want private practice lawyers to help them reach the board, suggests RPC-sponsored research

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Twenty percent of General Counsel would like a board role at the company they work for, with even more aspiring to directorship on the board of another company, according to research sponsored by RPC.

The General Counsel Excellence Report sought the views of 42,000 in-house lawyers, and offers interesting insights into both GC ambitions and what GCs believe they need from their law firms.

The report says that GCs increasingly see themselves as key players in the commercial strategy of their businesses, with 90% saying they now offer broad commercial, rather than pure legal, advice to colleagues.

And when it came to discussing expectations from private practice, there was a familiar ring to some of the conversations.

61.4% said they would like firms to offer better commercial awareness of clients’ business, 57.3% required lower costs for existing services and 52.3% required more added-value services.

Need to change

Managing Partner of RPC Jonathan Watmough believes that the research reinforces the need for firms to work differently in order to support GCs in their increasingly commercial roles.

‘Gone are the days when external advisers could simply dispense legal advice in a vacuum,’ he says. ‘Today it’s as important to frame that advice in broad commercial terms that make sense not just to GCs, but to the c-suite executives they work for.’

Earlier this year, RPC announced a 20% rise in revenues and is currently looking for a range of professionals in London and Bristol. These opportunities can be found on the RPC page at Professionals in Law. AB

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