What CEOs Want in a General Counsel

Lloyd M. Johnson Jr., chief executive of Chief Legal Executive LLC, gives his thoughts on what CEOs want in a general counsel:

“For many years, CEOs looking to hire general counsel have looked beyond legal skills to find good, solid, strategic business counsel. That’s no longer enough. The ability of the chief legal officer to manage the legal department and to stay one step ahead of both the C-suite and the board are the baseline requirements. But there are new factors to be dealt with. Institutional investors are increasingly impatient. CEOs and board members have more sophisticated expectations of the general counsel. And many sitting CEOs and general counsel are on the verge of retirement. As a result, while CEOs looking for new general counsel are looking for top attorneys whose skills have been forged in a solid, forward-looking understanding of business and industry, they no longer expect that attorney to simply help guide the company along the right road. That attorney, instead, is expected to be the company’s mapmaker.”

Read: What CEOs Want in a GC: Five stages in the evolution of the position to the key role it is today | The Metropolitan Corporate Counsel

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