Twitter Logo Youtube Circle Icon LinkedIn Icon

GC Magazine

SPRING 2015

DEAL BREAKER TO DEAL MAKER

Spring 2015

William Weisel, Former GC of Scitex Corporation, ADC Teledata, Gilat Satellite Networks, and Lumenis in Israel

William Weisel, former GC of four publicly-traded, multinational high-tech companies in Israel (scitex corporation, adc teledata, gilat satellite networks and lumenis), unpicks the stereotype of “lawyers as deal breakers”, explaining how corporate counsel can re-brand as deal makers.

Lawyers are commonly viewed as deal breakers who protect their clients right out of deals. General counsel would be wise not to dismiss this notion - justified or not - and we can to respond to it on multiple levels.

FROM CLIENT TO COLLEAGUE: THE JOHN LEWIS PARTNERSHIP

SPRING 2015

Catherine Wycherley

GC meets with Amy Holt, senior commercial lawyer at UK retailer John Lewis, to discuss how the commercial legal team works with the business, and the company’s unique partnership structure.

It’s mid-December when I pay a visit to John Lewis, and as I’m waiting in the foyer of the aptly named Partnership House, I notice that most head office staff are sporting Christmas jumpers. When senior commercial lawyer Amy Holt arrives to greet me, she too is decked out in festive knitwear – putting paid to any notions of stuffiness in the retail chain’s commercial legal team.

THE COMPANY MAN

SPRING 2015

Catherine Wycherley

GC takes a look behind the company curtain in European countries where corporate counsel are denied the professional status and legal privilege afforded to private practice lawyers.

“DOES THE COMPANY LAWYER HOLD A JOB OR DOES HE PRACTISE A PROFESSION?” This is a question posed by Jacques Barthélémy of Cabinet Barthélémy Avocats in Paris. He is writing in the 2014 European Company Lawyers Association [ECLA] white paper, which calls for all in-house lawyers in Europe to be recognised as independent professionals – and afforded the legal privilege enjoyed by their peers in private practice.

REVOLUTION! HOW A GC UNIFIED PROCESSES AND ROLLED OUT A BESPOKE IT SYSTEM

SPRING 2015

Gordon Finlayson, GC, HBO Europe

HBO Europe’s central Europe-based general counsel, Gordon Finlayson, talks to Catherine Rodgers about creating a “team” from “teams”, unifying processes and rolling out a bespoke IT system across ten countries.

AS THE SHIP WENT DOWN

SPRING 2015

Claire Coe Smith

When a law firm collapses, it’s not just the partners that risk being left high and dry. General counsel need to think carefully about a contingency plan should their chosen adviser face a shutdown.

In the summer of 2008, Cambridge-based infrastructure software firm Autonomy Corporation [now HP Autonomy] began working on a US acquisition. A UK-listed public company, Autonomy had its eye on California-based software company Interwoven, and a deal valued at $775 million. Such a large takeover would require Autonomy to approach its institutional investors for funding, through a placing to raise £220 million, and to set up a new revolving credit facility of up to $200 million.

SEARCHING FOR VALUE

SPRING 2015

Paul Hughes, Cranfield School of Management

Paul Hughes of Cranfield School of Management explains about the value proposition - and why GCs need to be in the know.

HOW MUCH CAN AN IN-HOUSE LAWYER AFFECT THE VALUE PROPOSITION OF AN ORGANISATION? That’s quite a big question. I would argue “a lot”. If we accept that premise, then we can move on to a far more interesting discussion: how?

THE 5-MINUTE FINANCIAL ANALYST: FINANCIAL MARKETS

SPRING 2015

Catherine McGregor

We continue our corporate counsel-friendly look at finance for finance-phobes, this time exploring how your company is financed – and the role that stocks, shares and corporate debt can play.

Debt and equity are the two options a company has when choosing how to finance itself. In debt financing, the business borrows money in some form without giving the lender any ownership rights in the company. The company issues bonds which can be bought and sold in the same way as shares. Unlike a share, which is equity in the business, a bond is essentially a loan with a fixed rate of interest.

DINNER WITH GC: LONDON

SPRING 2015

Catherine McGregor

In the first of a series of regular features, we discuss how lawyers – internal and external – can add value to the business, over Dinner With GC.

THE MAN WHO INVENTED MANAGEMENT

SPRING 2015

Catherine McGregor

Peter Drucker pioneered the study of management as a discipline. The very fact that we are discussing adding strategic value and getting closer to business colleagues is a direct result of his work. Catherine McGregor explores his relevance to GCs and legal departments.

Businessweek gave Peter Drucker the moniker “the man who invented management”. He has long been considered one of the most influential management thinkers, and each year his namesake the Drucker Institute hosts a conference in Vienna that continues to attract the cream of business thinkers and leading CEOs. Legendary CEO Jack Welch of GE was highly influenced by Drucker’s work as were other major companies such as Ford, Dell and Toyota. Recently it has been suggested that many of the tech industry’s new generation of CEOs are also looking to Drucker’s thinking to inform their strategic direction. Mark Zuckerberg reportedly consulted many of Drucker’s principles in building Facebook from a start-up into the global brand it is today.

MORE THAN MONEY

SPRING 2015

Catherine Wycherley

You’ve built up your legal team but how do you incentivise them to stay? GC’s Catherine Rodgers speaks to general counsel around the globe to find out how they keep their teams together.

There’s an oft-quoted remark by Theodore Roosevelt saying, "Appraisals are where you get together with your team leader and agree what an outstanding member of the team you are, how much your contribution has been valued, what massive potential you have and, in recognition of all this, would you mind having your salary halved?"

Browse the GC archive

IPAD AND IPHONE EDITION
GC Magazine Autumn 2017 on iPad
GC Magazine Autumn 2017 on iPhone


Download GC Magazine Autumn 2017 on iPad