How to thrive with the board: Six tips for General Counsel
Force for Change: General Counsel in the Boardroom
General Counsel are working more closely with boards as ESG and sustainability make corporate governance more complex, but what role should they play?
The role of the General Counsel (GC) continues to be elevated within large, publicly listed companies and is becoming even more strategic. Our new report, How to thrive with the Board: Six tips for General Counsel, discusses how GCs are acting as a vital bridge between businesses, boards, and communities.
This topic was the focus of a recent Ashurst Leadership Centre roundtable, attended by leading Australian company directors David Gonski AC and Catherine Brenner, and GCs from the nation’s top-100 listed companies. Our report from the event discusses how legal leaders are applying their unique perspectives to help organisations navigate today’s complex business landscape, make the right commercial and values-related choices, and raise over-the-horizon issues.
- GCs can use their relative independence and unique visibility across the business to provide significant value to the board.
- There is wide variation in how GCs are interacting with boards, but many are working closely with chairs and regularly attending board meetings.
- Boards are seeking both insight and foresight from GCs, informed by ethics and an understanding of stakeholder expectations.
- The expanding GC role extends to engaging early with business units to shape company strategy.