Robert W. Best, the Chairman, President and CEO of Atmos Energy, was formerly the general counsel of that large, interstate, natural gas pipeline company, according to Executive Advisor, May/June 2006 at 40. The general counsel of Atmos, Louis Gregory, thus reports to a former general counsel. I know of other situations like this, such as at Cabot Corp. and Duke Power (See my post of Jan. 7, 2006 about promotions for general counsel.).
For a general counsel (or chief legal officer) to report to a former practicing lawyer could be good or could be bad. On the whole, I suspect the situation tilts toward good, because the CEO-lawyer has a better appreciation not only for legal risks but also for the value delivered by the law department than does another kind of CEO with a different provenance, such as a CEO-engineer, CEO-CPA or CEO-MBA.