ELD International


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Leigh Dance has written, published and spoken extensively on many aspects of global legal services, at major global conferences and in business and legal industry publications worldwide, including The Wall Street Journal.  Click here for our extensive archive of past (we believe still insightful!) published articles.

Dance is author of Bright Ideas:  Insights from Legal Luminaries Worldwide, published by Mill City Press and available on Amazon.  Bright Ideas is a compilation of 23 original essays by leaders and influencers around the world.

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The Global In-House Counsel: What's Different?

Here’s a synopsis of the first article in my new column in ALM’s Corporate Counsel.  Read the whole thing or contact me for a copy.  Here on my site I’ll give synopses of each of 3 columns published already and a new one coming out February 1st. Editor’s Note:   This column is the first of a regular feature called Global In-House. …

Corporate Counsel, both here online and in print, is extending its reach to address a global audience of corporate counsel. Dance, as a consultant to lawyers around the globe, is uniquely placed to share her insights about what it means to be a modern global in-house lawyer.

Since there’s so much in common among in-house counsel everywhere, is the domestic in-house counsel job really so different from the global in-house counsel job?

The overarching issues are remarkably similar, but the difference is in the detail. More factors are at play:   global in-house counsel address issues requiring a range and layering of skills not as often used in domestic roles.  These skills are becoming more important to all in-house counsel.

Global in-house counsel provide services across diverse cultures with different laws, regulatory structures and business practices.  Global in-house counsel must be able to recognize developments that could trigger legal issues-- in foreign market economics, culture and politics .

Beyond identification of new risks, global in-house counsel must effectively synthesize and communicate each issue and its impact to stakeholders.  These stakeholders likely have different languages and cultural viewpoints.

The global in-house team is often dispersed, addressing most issues at a distance. A regional legal manager in Singapore with counsel across 6 countries must invest significant time and effort to assess each individual’s work quality and job engagement.

Editor Anthony Paonita will tell you that this is why Corporate Counsel invited me to write this column. Through data, war stories, practical tips and global in-house profiles, there’s plenty of experience to gain from other corporate legal functions. This has been the focus of my consulting practice for 15 years. I hope to share useful knowledge so you avoid re-inventing the wheel.