5 Behaviors of Effective General Counsel

The general counsel (GC) is more important than ever. From playing a central role in coordinating COVID-19 response to managing corporate risks to providing input on strategic plans, a GC who can set priorities, clarify actions and balance competing interests is vital for a company to execute effectively in today’s uncertain environment.

Unfortunately, most GCs do not have the impact or influence they should—or desire. Less than half of GCs believe they play a significant role in identifying and managing emerging issues, providing CEO support or executing corporate initiatives. Only one out of four corporate directors believe their GCs effectively inform the board about the legal and compliance risks of digital business transformation (a key priority for many boards). All in all, only 19% of general counsel are effective in their role.

GCs are certainly executing their job but performing a narrower version of it and contributing less than they might like. It all raises a good question: what makes a GC
effective?



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