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An example of crossing the line from lawyer to business executive

At one company on a panel at the Fifth General Counsel Roundtable, Dec. 6, 2007, summarized in a publication by the Economist Intelligence Unit, risk management is embedded within each business line. Risk management is overseen by a central risk committee on which the general counsel sits.

Here is the zinger: “The legal department vets all major decisions the company makes.” The example given was that the general counsel signs off on all interest rate models.

The pervasive responsibility boasted by that legal department cuts far too wide a swathe. Any law department that presumes to intrude on “all major decisions” treads far onto the turf of business executives.