The article in the url below from The Economist contains an interesting profile of the Chief Legal Officer:
“ONCE upon a time, in-house corporate lawyers were dismissed as plodders. Partners at law firms make far more money. Only someone who couldn’t hack it as a legal brain-for-hire would seek the dull security of a salaried job, people assumed. But the power of in-house lawyers has grown hugely in the past ten years. The chief legal officer (CLO) is now one of the mightiest figures in the C-suite.”
Given the profile’s emphasis on compliance, particularly regarding ethical issues, the CLO’s responsibilities appear remarkably similar to those of the Chief Ethics and Compliance Officer or CECO (Case-study: Ethics and Compliance Officers, p336)!
“A CLO must be independent. But unlike outside lawyers, his financial future depends on just one client: his employer. He must protect the company’s reputation with customers, suppliers, journalists and non-governmental organisations. And he must do more than merely tell managers what they can get away with. As Susan Hackett, a former director of the Association of Corporate Counsel, says: “Most lawyers will look at legal rules and say: ‘Here are the ways you can do it.’ A good [general counsel] says: ‘Of course it’s legal, but it’s stupid.’” Diplomacy is as important as legal analysis in delivering this message.”
Put another way, how long before the CLO position is renamed the CECO?
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A Guardian and a Guide
Chief Legal Officers have more power than ever before
April 7, 2012