U.S. general counsel rank higher in their company than do their non-U.S. counterparts

Deloitte’s Global Corporate Counsel Report 2011 presents data from almost 900 in-house counsel in 10 countries. Only 49 were from the United States. Of that subset, 86% are a member of the company’s senior management team (at 6). Evidently a much lower percentage holds for counsel outside the U.S., since the figure for the entire survey population – increased some by the U.S. figures – was 62%. Hence, the top lawyers of non-U.S. companies for the most part don’t occupy the rank of their American counterparts.

That said, 13% of the total respondents are members of their company’s board of directors, whereas only one of the U.S. corporate counsel is (2%). An earlier survey, drawing mostly on general counsel in Europe, found otherwise (See my post of May 14, 2006 #4: in Canada, one fourth of general counsel sit on Board; Nov. 9, 2006: percentage of Board member GCs was dropping in Europe; Dec. 12, 2007: more than half of UK general counsel want to be a board member; and Aug. 6, 2008: non-US general counsel often do not attend any Board of Directors meetings.). Every now and then this blog has mentioned general counsel in relation to Boards of Directors (See my post of Feb. 7, 2006: “general counsel should report to the board of directors”; March 25, 2009: general counsel of McDonald’s sits on the board of directors of Aon Corporation; May 11, 2011: doubts about general counsel serving on another company’s Board; Sept. 5, 2011: four benefits when a general counsel serves on the board of another company; and Nov. 3, 2011: reporting line to the board gives the general counsel more independence.).

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