European titles for the general counsel or chief legal officer

Every now and then it sneaks into my consciousness how my blog posts are so US-centric. I refer almost entirely to US dollars, assume readers know US law firms, speak naively of “international operations” as self-evidently outside the US, and just generally give short shrift to law departments beyond the 50 states.

It’s not xenophobia on my part or malicious provincialism, it’s what I read about and consult to: mostly US law departments.

To make amends, I wish to point out that a global perspective on legal teams must be fluent in the titles of “Head of legal” and “Legal Director.” While not US terms, where the top lawyer is predominantly the “general counsel” and sometimes the “chief legal officer” (See my post of March 22, 2006 on the differences between these titles.), the LexisNexis Martindale-Hubble 2005 “Study into the European market for legal services” at 8, reminds me that US titles have different counterparts around the world.

Another difference, while I am on the apologetic note, is that between the US position called “corporate secretary” and the European counterpart, “company secretary.”

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