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Questionable whether a general counsel should market and manage a new service line

The Financial Times published its report, “Innovative Lawyers 2009,” dated Oct. 23, 2009. One “legal innovator” is Adil Hussain, the general counsel of Gatehouse Bank, the only Islamic bank in the UK. The Bank, unusually, employs “an in-house Islamic scholar,” based on whose prowess Hussain received his commendation (at 30). He built a team of three around the scholar (the department has two lawyers) and created a sharia advisory service. “It has become an important business line for the bank and Mr Hussain is responsible for selling the service to potential clients.”

A general counsel who develops, runs, and markets a business line certainly makes tangible the notion of a legal department as profit center But is that the highest and best use of legal talent (See my post of April 27, 2008: profit center with 18 references.)?