Posted by: johnocunningham | January 26, 2012

Building Relationships With General Counsel

A recently published survey of lawyers who act as in-house general counsel revealed that GCs are most concerned with improving relations with their CEOs and their boards of directors.

The survey, conducted by Corporate Counsel magazine, demonstrated that 25 percent of GCs most want to improve relations with their boards, and another 24 percent most want to improve relations with their CEOs.

There is a message here for law firms. If you want to improve your relationship with a GC client, try thinking of ways to help him or her to improve the C-suite relationship with the CEO or the board.

As a former GC who ran a law department consistently rated as the best internal service provider, I can also confidently say to GCs that a relationship with the CEO (and other officers) always improves when you can find ways to make your in-house and outside legal professionals better service providers.

It also helps when you can find ways to communicate with the board, the CEO, and other senior officers in their language. Figure out how the legal function delivers or can help to deliver better Earnings Per Share and demonstrate the Return on Legal Investment and you will win the battle for hearts and minds in the C-suite.

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