Accessibility Links

IBM vice-president: General counsel have seat at table

Posted by: Laurence Simons 20/12/12

In-house lawyers are increasingly being allowed to sit at the top table when it comes to decision-making on legal and corporate matters, according to IBM vice-president Robert C Weber.

He told Forbes India that this is partly because the globalised and multinational world of many corporations means they have a more complicated mesh of regulations to deal with, making general counsel central to many of their business decisions.

"In-house lawyers are full players in a company's strategy, and also trusted advisors to the chief executive officer, board and chairman. There's clearly been an evolution of law departments in large companies," he added.

Mr Weber's comments follow a deluge of reports indicating that in-house legal positions are becoming better paid as they begin to involve a wider range of roles, ensuring they can rival their private practice counterparts in terms of both influence and income.

A report from legal researcher Acritas recently suggested that people with in-house legal jobs are keen to join law firms that have a reputation for international savvy, as emerging economies become a central target for businesses disappointed by low rates of growth across Europe and the US.