Dissenting perspectives

In September, GC began its latest series of Dissenting Perspectives events, once again held in tandem with RPC. The series aims to take a different angle in considering the role and challenges faced by modern GCs and senior in-house lawyers. For this session we were considering how in-house lawyers can navigate one of the most ubiquitous and tricky concepts of the 21st century – personal brand.

Giving their thoughts were two lawyers who have both brought their own very unique sense of brand to their professional role: Dan Fitz, general counsel at BT and Lesley Wan, corporate counsel at Lloyds Bank and CEO of Through the Looking Glass, a charity that promotes social mobility in the law.

The evening took place at the Mondrian Hotel on the South Bank in London, appropriately enough, in their auditorium which was formerly a cinema. The evening was attended by a large number of peers who were keen to hear what these two iconic in-house counsel had to say on the subject.

Personal brand is something often associated more with Kardashians than lawyers, so for many there is a barrier to projecting any version of themselves. In our wide ranging discussion, we considered the need for authenticity versus using aspiration or ‘faking it until you make it’ to enhance qualities such as leadership.

Personal brand is often associated with external promotion and use of social media, however, a good proportion of our discussion focused on the notion of internal personal brand. Maintaining a reputation or brand within your own organisation was cited as being the fundamental issue for many general counsel and in-house lawyers to crack initially.

Another significant talking point was how the personal brand of the GC can affect the wider legal team, as well as how personal brand can be used as part of talent management.

The audience was very engaged, with questions and comments welcomed throughout the interactive session. The evening finished with drinks, canapés and further consideration of the topic under the watchful eyes of the 1950s movie stars whose own brands decorated our venue.

Do you have a dissenting perspective to share or would you like to attend one of our upcoming sessions?

Contact Catherine McGregor (catherine.mcgregor@gcmagazine.com) or Ali Blackwell-Cook (ali.blackwell-cook@legal500.com) for more information.