Four reasons why the general counsel “is a good choice to help manage risk”

According to a panelist at the Fifth General Counsel Roundtable, Dec. 6, 2007 cited in a summary produced by the Economist Intelligence Unit at 8, the four reasons, draw on several advantages of a general counsel and his or her law department.

(1) The general counsel “touches more areas of the company than even the president or line leaders.” Everything significant ought to come to the attention of the top lawyer.

(2) “The GC is independent, which is a valuable trait in risk management.” Lawyers ought not to be too closely aligned with any particular business unit or staff group (See my post of June 10, 2008: comments by Michael Helfer.)

(3) Attorneys often work in an area where there are many very small risks,” such as drafting contracts. As with compliance professionals, lawyers must be wary of and careful about everything.

(4) “Attorneys are skeptical.” They tend to challenge and ask questions of people (See my post of Nov. 27, 2005: Caliper findings and the skepticism of lawyers.).

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