The company man

“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.

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More than money

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?”

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The man who invented management

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.

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The world’s greatest management thinker: Clayton Christensen

Being ranked as the foremost management thinker in the world is not a title that appears to daunt Clayton M. Christensen.

At the age of 62, the Kim B. Clark Professor of Business Administration at the Harvard Business School is widely acknowledged as one of the world’s leading lights in innovation. In both 2011 and 2013 he achieved the top billing on the Thinkers50 chart which compiles the global ranking of management thinkers. Continue reading “The world’s greatest management thinker: Clayton Christensen”

Whistle-blowers and the in-house lawyer – a question of ethics and objectivity

The term whistleblower is said to have been coined in the 1970s by US activist Ralph Nader to avoid the negative connotations of terms such as ‘informer’ and ‘snitch’, instead invoking the referee in a sports match, blowing the whistle to stop the game when there is unfair play. Continue reading “Whistle-blowers and the in-house lawyer – a question of ethics and objectivity”

A dangerous game of bluff

When I was talking recently with the GC of a multinational operating globally, they outlined the purpose of their legal function to me. They said it existed to ‘provide high quality legal services tailored to the organisation’s needs, carried out by more knowledgeable lawyers than could be secured from external providers, yet at a much reduced price than would be paid if solely using an external supplier’. Continue reading “A dangerous game of bluff”