The president (Legal) & GC (Europe) of Hinduja Group discusses his in-house career.
Simon Osborne, chief executive and fellow of ICSA, outlines routes to the board for in-house lawyers.
In the first of a new series, a lawyer discusses their in-house career journey to date, the lessons they have learned, and offers practical career guidance and advice. First up is I. Stephanie Boyce, director of Create Positive Possibilities and GC to the Society of Chiropodists and Podiatrists.
Taking on non-executive directorship roles can help to challenge the stereotypes and prejudice that in-house solicitors face, Law Society seminar told.
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Royal Mail's GC doesn't message colleagues in the evening or at weekends. All lawyers should follow suit.
Hard data can help a general counsel (GC) demonstrate their legal team’s value to a business as well as cut its costs, Royal Mail’s GC told the Law Society’s flagship conference for in-house lawyers last week.
Maaike de Bie
In conversation with Stephen Denyer, the Society’s director of strategic relationships, Maaike de Bie said that when she became GC her law yers were working long hours, were stressed and were not respected by their business colleagues. A succinct ‘vision statement’ was produced to help colleagues understand the legal function’s purpose – which is to help colleagues make good decisions.
‘We’re not talking about the “best” or the “right”, but a ‘good’ decision,’ de Bie stressed.
Introducing an e-billing system ‘armed’ de Bie with data which enabled her to show how her team added value. She was able to tell the chief executive that 40% of the legal budget was spent on personal injury claims and suggested claims could be cut by talking to staff about their driving.
Major General Susan Ridge, director general of Army Legal Services, and Matthew Wilson, associate GC EMEA for taxi-hailing and foo d deliver y company Uber, were among those advising delegates during the two-day conference.
Remote working enabled one female employee to work on a project in a country where women's right to work was an issue.
Demand for commercial legal advice will rise over the next 18 months, according to an annual market bellwether*, but some sectors are becoming crowded with law firm teams created to serve specific industries.
Of 180 large and SME businesses surveyed by IRN Research, most expect their demands for legal services to stay unchanged over that period. But nearly a third of large businesses and 16% of SMEs predict a rise in their use of external advice. Just 9% of large businesses and 11% of SMEs expect a fall. Most large businesses reported using more than one law firm.
IRN surveyed the websites of the top 200 law firms to guage how many have created vertical sector teams to advise different industries. Thirteen vertical sectors are listed by over 50 firms, led by real estate (101), financial services and insurance (97), and hospitality, leisure and sport (91). Another 10 sectors reach double figures.
Some vertical sectors are already becoming crowded, the report warns, with the next emergent trend a move to more niche expertise. In health, for example, niche specialties include GPs, independent hospitals and social care.
UK-based business law firms and chambers generated revenues of £15.4bn in 2017, says IRN, a 4% rise on the previous year.
*The UK Business Legal Services Market, £350