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Professional development for general counsel – a stint on the business side

Rosemary Berkery, before her appointment as general counsel of Merrill Lynch, spent two years as co-head of the research department and two years as head of investment products and marketing for Merrill’s private equity group. She predicts, according to her interview in the Financial Times (May 5, 2005 at 9), that it will be more common for ascending general counsel to spend time on the business side.

Her experience is extremely valuable, and all GCs should try to emulate a version of it. Those GCs who come from a law firm will be disadvantaged; lawyers inside the company can take a tour of client duty, but ex pats from law firms will not likely have that opportunity.

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