Companies: two-speed evolution

The role of a legal department is witnessing profound change. For head general counsel, it is no longer about optimizing their internal standing. Now, they are legal risk managers and therefore part of their employer’s strategic development. Their teams and external advisors still have to adapt to this.

Often it is only smaller details that suggest greater change. When Rewe and RWE optimize their antitrust teams, when Bayer puts its litigation team under the common management of its US head of litigation and centralizes its data protection function, or when Siemens merges its customs and trade department with its compliance team, it ultimately means that teams are being shaped in sync with the company’s risk profile.

Restructuring measures like those taken by BASF and Bosch are also heading in this direction. But the task for the head general counsel here (who have only been in office for a few years) is manageable compared to what Volkswagen is facing: reforming central functions will be a lengthy and expensive process.

Top law firms flexing their muscles

Risk management: negligence is no option

The 40-hour associates

Legal tech: creeping revolution

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