General Counsel Is A Strategic Enabler, A Trusted Advisor

Role of General Counsel has evolved through the years, it needs to shift towards being versatile say legal experts

“Stay relevant and keep evolving”, highlighted Preeti Wadhwan, Director-Legal and Compliance, at an event today organized by BW Legal World while discussing on the role of General Councels (GCs) in the law industry.

In the era of ultra-modern technology, General Counsel's role in the law industry is diminishing. While even in the legal business, it’s the clientele that drives it says Safir Anand, Senior Partner, Anand and Anand. “Today lawyers are not just lawyers but they come up with such diverse skills and knowledge including legal, marketing and financial, etc.,” says Anand.

Amar Sundaram, India-Head-Legal, Governance & Regulatory Affairs, RBS informed, “Being lawyer is now being much beyond what it used to be. It is now about bringing business proposals as well,” during the event at The Imperial. On the other hand, Sanjeev Gemawat, Executive Director, Dalmia said, “The rules of the industry had changed decades back. The focus has now shifted to compliance."

 The role of General Counsels in the company is still relevant only when they come up with other skills which shall support the organization in bringing more business.

Dr Annurag Batra, Chairman  & Editor-in-Chief, BW Businessworld & exchange4media group also added that GC’s role in the coming five years shall see more of holistic growth in the law industry. Sundaram also added, “Now GC’s have the ability to understand the dynamics. “It is important to find the opportunities while bringing business as well,” added Wadhawan.

On the same point Gemawat added, “GCs have a business orientation while they play an important role. Globally various GCs have moved up to become CEOs.” “A lawyer is no longer confined to its industry’s boundaries,” said Sundaram elucidating the point of GC’s relevance in the company.

Wadhawan finds GCs have the quality to reach a higher position where they voices can be heard while representing the company’s values as well.

“Unlike traditional times when GCs role was only confined to overlooking a company’s legal forte only, now the shift is towards bringing in more quality and attaining a strategic growth,” opined Sundaram during the event. 

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