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In the past two decades, the General Counsel in many companies has risen in importance, and the GC is now often involved in business strategy from the inception. Consequently, the position has become more desirable, lucrative, and competitive. Those who achieve it are required to be better versed in the same fundamental principles of business practice and leadership as other senior executives.
In The Generalist Counsel: How Leading General Counsel are Shaping Tomorrow's Companies, Prashant Dubey and Eva Kripalani offer guidance for lawyers making the transition to company leadership. They describe the steps a lawyer should take to blend legal training with other business disciplines to perform a much broader and more strategic role for the organization. Further, the authors provide a view into the GC role that will enable non-lawyers to better understand how their in-house legal departments execute their role.
Through research and in-depth interviews with sitting and former General Counsel and executives in the sphere of influence, the authors identify a deliberate evolution in the fabric and tenor of the role of the GC. The personal stories are not only thought-provoking, but also entertaining. The authors also discuss how this shift is leading to other innovations within the legal profession, such as the evolving relationship with outside counsel, General Counsel demands for new products and services, and models for service delivery that are similar to Information Technology and Business Process Outsourcing delivery models.
Prashant Dubey is CEO of The Sumati Group. For the 25 years prior, he was an executive at Fios, Tripwire, and Baxter. He is published on the role of GC's, and on the subject of Legal Process Optimization. He has co-authored, Litigation Readiness: A Practical Approach to Electronic Discovery (Oxford University Press, 2011). He holds a BA, Economics, and an MBA, Strategy from the University of Chicago.
Eva Kripalani provides guidance to corporations in areas such as law department management, corporate governance, ethics and compliance, and contract management. She spent 10 years as a partner at Stoel Rives, LLP. Until 2007, she served as Executive Vice President and General Counsel at Knowledge Learning Corporation (now Knowledge Universe-US).