Best Practices for General Counsel Succession Planning


Reaching Past Inclusion


Five Key Gaps in General Counsel Succession Planning


Four Tools to Focus Lawyers on Better Serving the Business

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A Roadmap for Effective GC Succession Planning

Within Fortune 500 companies, it’s unlikely you would find even one that didn’t have a formal CEO succession plan in place. Because it’s difficult to predict when the conditions may occur that tend to dictate when a CEO could or should retire or resign, responsible governance mandates that a thoughtful and strategic CEO succession plan always be in place.

With the continued evolution of GCs in these same companies, from legal advisor to strategic advisor and valued member of the executive team (“GCs: Adding Value to the C-Suite”), fewer than 50 percent of these same companies have formal GC succession plans. Which means that in the event of an unexpected need to transition, these unprepared companies might be forced to go outside for the right candidate because they don’t have an appropriate internal candidate. 


General Counsel Succession Planning: Are You Prepared if Your GC Walks Tomorrow?

If you’re expecting your GC to stay around forever, it’s probably time to change your expectations.

The role of General Counsel has been expanding in recent years. More firms see their GC not only as Chief Legal Officer, but also as an integral member of the executive team with responsibility for corporate governance, risk evaluation and even crisis management. A parallel shift is toward shorter GC tenure and more career movement. In light of these trends, how is your firm preparing for the possibility that your GC suddenly decides to retire early or seek greener pastures?


Succession Planning: What to Do When Surprised By a Resignation

Just as the new year begins, CEOs are sometimes blindsided by the resignation of a key player within their legal function. It may be a top talent within the in-house counsel or worse, the General Counsel. Regardless, the unexpected loss can cause operational turbulence unless a succession plan is in place to quickly and effectively fill the newly vacant role.

Ideally, you should be taking steps now to prepared for the unexpected. Unfortunately, succession planning tends to fall to your “important but not urgent” list, so you may be left without a plan of action when you need it most.

Here are five steps to take when you’re surprised by a resignation in your law department.


5 Signs Your Corporate Counsel Will Leave in 2015

Approximately 1.7 million people quit their jobs each month in search of greater opportunities, an indication that people are more confident in their abilities today than in years past. A common trait among all top talents is their desire to succeed, which means your most promising in-house counsel or General Counsel likely never ignores a potential opportunity to reach greater success.

Without you realizing it, that new opportunity could be a job offer with another company.

Don’t be blindsided by an unexpected resignation.

Pay close attention to these five signs your in-house counsel will leave in 2015, and be willing to examine whether you may be influencing his or her decision.


Women in Law: Paying it Forward in the Workplace

I recently had the privilege of attending the second annual Women, Influence & Power in Law conference in Washington, D.C., the only national forum where women in law from all specialties come together to share their thoughts on current issues. 

More than 400 women attended, and I was extremely impressed by the caliber of the talent I saw in both the panelists and participants. 


How to Start Planning for Your Next Chief Compliance Officer

The importance of risk management has elevated the Chief Compliance Officer position to a new level. Compliance is now an expectation in every realm of business, and it requires a much higher level of specific expertise than it did even a decade ago.

The General Counsel also plays a significant role in managing risk, but his or her responsibilities extend to so many other areas that the GC cannot simply absorb all compliance duties in the absence of a CCO.  Your company needs to be prepared for the CCO’s departure at all times, whether it is planned or unexpected. 

Here are four proactive ways to start identifying a successor.


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