My friend Paul Lippe, head of Legal OnRamp, makes an interesting point. It is not enough for a general counsel to know the legal ins and outs of a situation. Nor is it enough to also know the situation’s business ramifications. What the general counsel must also know is what other companies that face a similar situation are doing, especially companies where a Board member sits on the other company’s Board of Directors.
That shared director will want to know why the general counsel’s position differs from the other company’s, if it does. Professional networks enable general counsel to reach out to peers, and they can help you when a board member looks over your shoulder with independent legal knowledge about the issues confronting you.