4 themes faced by in-house lawyers from LBCambridge September 2016

4 themes faced by in-house lawyers from LBCambridge September 2016

The LBCambridge programme was established in 2006 by LBC Wise Counsel as a residential skills development programme for in-house lawyers. The 21st LBCambridge took place at Queens’ College, Cambridge in September 2016. The traditional opening keynote session on the first full day is designed around themes which the delegates identify as their most pressing issues. We ask the delegates what is “top of mind”, then discuss and debate these ideas with them and then distil these conversations into a presentation.

The presentation I deliver is without slides or notes, but seeks to build on the concerns, opportunities and ambitions of the delegates attending the programme. I try to make it as accessible as possible with as much practical content as I can offer. At September’s event the points that mattered most to this cohort of delegates revolved around defining purpose, becoming more influential, demonstrating value and stepping beyond business-as-usual.

In this report I will explore these themes in a little more detail reflecting the presentation made to delegates at the September 2016 LBCambridge programme.

1. PURPOSE is the key to unlock almost everything.

Without a sense of role and purpose we are left to simply explore ways to get busy. We conflate being busy with adding value, we create dependency using that to justify our needs and we overly on relationships at the expense of data.

However if we define our purpose more substantially several things then fall into place:

  • We see that our role has a scope for which some things are in scope and some things are out of scope. We are immediately empowered to push back when it is out of scope.
  • We can see how we are aligned to the goals of the business and the business can more clearly see the reasons for our involvement and the contribution we make.
  • We can more easily see the measures that will demonstrate we are achieving our in-scope goals.
  • Furthermore it helps us to shape a contribution that steps beyond dependency, plea

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About the author:
Paul leads many of LBC’s significant projects and lectures widely at events and conferences in the UK, Europe, North America and South Africa. Themes include legal services strategy, skills development and the changing face of the legal profession.


Paul qualified as a UK solicitor in 1987 and for much of his career he was an in-house lawyer. Paul was the General Counsel in two major UK financial services companies and held positions as chairman and chief executive of the national in-house lawyers Commerce & Industry Group. For six years Paul was a Council Member of the England & Wales Law Society and was elected to the Society’s Main Management Board. Until 2014 he was also Vice-Chairman and a Trustee of LawWorks, the UK’s national pro bono charity.

Paul is a successful author with six books and over one-hundred published articles in the UK, Europe, North America and South Africa