LBCambridge programme: including how to balance risk management and being commercial

LBCambridge programme: including how to balance risk management and being commercial

The top 6 pressing issues impacting in-house roles

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LBC Wise Counsel logoThe 18th LBCambridge Summer School recently took place at Queens’ College, Cambridge. This acclaimed initiative was established in 2006 by LBC Wise Counsel as residential skills development programme for in-house lawyers to debate, challenge and share in a highly interactive environment.

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 six key themes.

The six themes for April were as follows:

1. Making progress in flat structures when “dinosaurs” are in the way
2. How to balance risk management and being commercial
3. Ensuring consistent delivery with changing demand
4. Do more with less. Changing mindset on risk assessment and how to say “no”
5. Working best with people who work from different locations
6. Coping with rapid growth, dealing with/influencing significant cultural change

1. Making progress in flat structures when “dinosaurs” are in the way

This is a common concern. The challenge of course is that there is little or no planned route to promotion. The opportunity for development however is not curtailed. The emphasis for progression therefore is not promotion but development. In this regard there are three ideas to reflect upon as illustrated in the diagram (fig 1, below):

3 themes


Development through consciously seeking new experiences, through improving soft skills, through formal and informal learning is always possible. Whatever is on offer, frankly, grab it! A well defined role means you can assess your progress and judge better areas for improvement and areas of competence.

If a role is less well defined, my guidance is

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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