The challenge of being a GC today may well be living in a perfect storm.
“The greatest challenge that general counsel have to face today is managing legal issues in an ever increasing regulatory environment, while at the same time trying to maintain control of costs,” according to Ian McDougall at the 2014 Legal Week Corporate Counsel Forum.
The “perfect storm” he continued, is that the increased regulation drives up the cost of doing business. This in turn places pressure on the legal department budget and the very team “charged with helping the business be compliant with those very regulations.”
Mr. McDougall serves as executive vice president and general counsel with LexisNexis and his comments were recorded in a video produced by Legal Week which embedded nearby. The video is this week’s Friday Share.
7 Top Challenges from 7 GCs
The video contains interviews with the lawyers listed below – we’ve paraphrased a key point or two as an incentive to watch the video. It is well worth hearing from these senior lawyers in their own words and the entire video lasts just six minutes.
2. Simon Dowson-Collins, general counsel, HarperCollins, says the legal operating environment is one that has transitioned from “straight forward” with “predictable problems” to one of VOCA: variable, uncertain, complex and ambiguous.
4. Natalie Jobling, general counsel, corporate, Network Rail, describes the delicate balance between fulfilling the role of trusted advisor and managing compliance – being a “business player” as opposed to “business prevention.”
Mr. McDougall closes the video out by reminding viewers that GCs are tasked with helping a company reach is commercial objectives while complying with the law and legal obligations. Being “commercially aware is paramount,” he added.
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