The top lawyer of Anheuser-Busch InBev, Sabine Chalmers, describes her 150-lawyer department in Practical Law, March 2011 at 80. In accordance with her dual title of Chief Legal & Corporate Affairs Officer of the $36.8 billion company, she and her team also have responsibility for “corporate affairs.”
The profile briefly describes corporate affairs as “communications, public affairs and corporate social responsibility.” That scope extends to the horizon and doesn’t fit at all with what corporate lawyers traditionally do.
On the other hand, that lawyers aren’t skilled at a task doesn’t’ at all mean that the general counsel can’t oversee the function effectively. Chalmers undoubtedly has skilled people in charge of corporate affairs and quite possibly none of them have law degrees. After all, in some companies general counsel manage corporate jets, security guards, human resources and internal audit to name but a few unrelated functions.