The General Counsel (GC) role is also referred to as the chief legal officer (CLO) in many small and medium enterprises (SMEs). The role in essence is that of the head lawyer of the organisation (or sometimes department) which is usually in a company or a government department.
A GC will typically, as a matter of structure, report directly to the Managing Director (MD) or the Chief Executive Officer (CEO). The GC scope of general duties incorporate oversight and identification of legal issues in all business aspects.
General Counsel Duties
Counsel’s role ranges from the identification of legal issues within vision conceptualisation to realisation and identification of potential legal issues in all the various aspects of business. These include design, engineering, finance, marketing and sales, distribution, human resources, as well as production.
GC Corporate Governance and Compliance
Another major aspect of the role as general counsel is leadership in the on-going development and implementation of corporate governance and business policy. Naturally, such an intrinsic role by definition requires that general counsel report directly to and work with the CEO of the business, if necessary, by being joined at the hip!
Expectations From General Counsel
It can in this day and age be expected that most good GC should be familiar with all aspects of the business and advise on the most confidential level. Accordingly, it is a pre-requisite that Tahir as the CLO / GC works closely with each of the other officers and their departments, to appropriately be aware and advise the CEO on all business aspects.
General Counsel and Confidentiality
Confidentiality form any lawyer is expected. Generally, it forms a part of the lawyer’s duty under a code of conduct, with some exceptions related to matters such as anti-bribery and corruption as well as money laundering. The general counsel is therefore expected and if not expected, then should expect from one’s self to be familiar with and advise on the most confidential level.
To see how your business could benefit from the involvement of a commercial barrister, contact Tahir direct.