Managing an International Legal Department
Book

Managing an International Legal Department

Schulthess, 2011

Rating

7

Qualities

  • Applicable

Recommendation

Consultant Richard Norman explains the strategic concerns of a multinational corporation’s legal department, including cultural fit, administration, personnel development and other managerial issues. He covers business strategy, outside staffing, and internal legal staff coaching and training. He presents this material quickly, with useful charts, bullet points, summaries and lists. To get the most from Norman’s manual, you should have a solid grounding in management and in the practice of corporate law. His conclusions may be illuminating for attorneys considering the transition from private or government practice to an in-house counsel position. getAbstract recommends Norman’s advice to general counsels who head in-house legal departments, and executives who work with them, particularly those whose firms operate in multiple countries.

Summary

“Strategic Alignment for the Legal Department”

Attorneys who manage legal departments for multinational companies must set their offices’ long-term direction. You must understand the company your legal department supports and its needs. Your findings will influence the menu of legal skills you build in your department.

Companies are either old, new, or a hybrid of the two. Older companies, such as railway or mining operations, usually have heavy capital requirements. They tend to encounter employment law issues, including working with unions, and to face “restructuring and pension issues.”

New companies, often in financial or technical sectors, have fewer fixed assets and more intellectual capital, such as software. Their in-house attorneys need to be well versed in areas of law involving “data protection, marketing, international relocations and…intellectual property protection.” New matters will arise constantly as technology evolves, so corporate lawyers must be able to handle issues of online privacy, social media and information management.

As industries have changed from brick-and-mortar traditions to conducting online and e-commerce transactions...

About the Author

Richard Norman guides teams in creating and managing in-house legal departments. He created the “What In-House Lawyers Need” program, known as “WIN,” for DLA Piper.


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