Five things to consider when choosing your first role as a sole legal counsel

Five things to consider when choosing your first role as a sole legal counsel

A role as a first time sole legal counsel can be fun, demanding and very broadening to your experience. I've undertaken this role in an organisation that hadn't had an in-house lawyer before and I learnt a lot from it.  For anyone undertaking such a role, my two part blog deals with some of the “top tips” you might consider. Here are the first five:


1The level of the role

It is important that the organisation that you are joining recognises the importance of the new legal function.  Some organisations will have identified the need for an in-house lawyer but not thought through or appreciated the added value that you can bring. In interview, make an opportunity to demonstrate your commercial as well as legal skills; cite examples of things you have done in previous roles that show you can add value to the organisation over and above just “doing the legals”.

2. Who you report to

Ideally you’ll be offered a position that is a direct report of the CEO but, if the job offer says you are to report to the CFO or COO, I suggest you question it.  See if you can get the position changed so that you report to the CEO.  Remember that, in doing so, you’re maybe treading on the toes of the CFO or COO; you don’t want to make an enemy of him or her, so be tactful. Be prepared to turn down an otherwise appealing j

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About the author:
Linda Kabi is a highly experienced telecoms, IT and commercial lawyer and consultant with NewLaw firm Halebury. She has 30 years’ experience working primarily in the international telecoms industry, having previously acted as GC at Nowtel. Linda has also worked as a senior lawyer in high-profile tech companies including BT, Inmarsat, Hutchison 3G and Vodafone.

Follow Linda on Twitter on @lindakabi