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Has the role of the GC changed?

October 04, 2017

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This is a really good read by Nathan Butler, General Counsel Group Legal Function at Lloyds Banking Group. I like his point of view that the GC’s role will stay the same.  The GC has always, and should always, be a trusted advisor of the board, CEO and senior executives. As leaders, they must also lead and inspire their team.

What is interesting is that although the GC role is essentially the same, the environment and profession is changing and these changes require GCs to be business leaders as well as leaders in law.  The legal profession is evolving, the market is expanding, technology, career development and skills are also changing.  The GC’s role is to ensure that all of these changes are considered effectively to ensure the service delivery and career progression of their team is the best it can be.

Inspiration can come from many places and I agree with Nathan that so much inspiration can be taken from “people with courage who achieve great things in the face of adversity – unassuming people who do the unexpected.”

At the core of it I think the role will still be the same. The GC will still be a trusted adviser to the Board, CEO and senior executives, and will still need to be a leader, a strong and decisive voice, both for the organisation and for a team of highly trained and talented people. What will change is the technology that is available to help lawyers do their job, and the external environment will change so that a new generation of lawyers will have new tools and different experience and training. As a leader and manager a GC will need to adapt to those changes.

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