The legal recruitment team at Morgan McKinley were delighted to team up with the Irish branch of the Association of Corporate Counsel (ACC) in holding a CPD event. The latest installment in the ACC’s In-house Lawyers Perspectives Series took the form of a round table discussion on the topic, Tactics to demonstrate value to the organisation. A similar event was held in Cork last November.
Nigel Crawford of Eaton Corporation chaired the event and was joined by three panellists, each an experienced in-house lawyer:
• Michael Shanley, Panda Group
• Eimear Scully, Groupon
• Conor Wyse, Dublin Airport Authority
My top three takeaways:
1. Demonstrating value is much more than demonstrating the reduction in external counsel fees. Through strong familiarity with their company, in-house lawyers regularly (and often silently!) improve processes, contracts and strategies saving both time and costs.
2. Lawyers regularly act as facilitators within a company, working together with different units who might otherwise be siloed. This can be hard to demonstrate but can have strong impact on a company’s operations.
3. Lawyers are trained to solve problems and tend to be good in a crisis. Years of training allow lawyers to filter situations quickly, identify salient issues and focus attention on worthwhile areas. Companies who have legal professionals in their senior management team regularly benefit from this skill set which is hard to quantify.
Obviously I am biased and personally consider the list of benefits that comes with having an in-house counsel to be endless. However, business is business and it is important for in-house lawyers to understand how and where best to demonstrate their value. Sessions such as this one provide excellent forums for in-house lawyers to get together and share their experiences in this area.
Well done to the ACC for another successful event, we are looking forward to the next one!