Redefining the role of in-house lawyer as strategic business partner. An interview with Matt Redding, GC at Six Degrees Group

Redefining the role of in-house lawyer as strategic business partner. An interview with Matt Redding, GC at Six Degrees Group

 

As business needs continue to shift and face ever-increasing challenges and opportunities, so has the expectation around what the legal function is looked for to deliver to its organisation. Once, the value of in-house counsel rested predominantly on delivering expert, astute advice timeously – at an affordable cost. But as Matt Redding, General Counsel from Six Degrees Group explains, the role has significantly evolved. Today, in-house counsel must demonstrate their value in more innovative ways.

In this interview with Lucy Glyn, Market Development Director at Lexis Nexis, Matt talks about how the role of the in-house lawyer has changed since his legal career began in 2000, and the key areas where lawyers should better align their focus towards business needs to show their worth.

“I’ve seen a shift in the way businesses perceive the legal team”

From Matt’s perspective, in-house counsel must embrace innovation in their role. He emphasises that the legal department must have a dual focus - actual delivery and showing that the value of what you deliver translates into tangible business benefit. Moreover, first and foremost, this value needs to transcend simply a cost-saving benefit.

His belief is that this can be done in different ways.

At a basic level, and what is considered to be the more traditional approach, legal can deliver costs savings against external lawyers. Although easily demonstrated, Matt explains that this benefit can often be taken for granted by businesses. 

However, in his opinion successful in-house counsel have learnt to take a more strategic approach and align their legal responsibilities with the business needs to deliver a better quality commercial outcome. In fact, he puts forward the case that the best type of demonstrable value is where the input of legal directly results in delivering revenue and extra cash to the business. This could be through exploiting regulatory opportunities, identifying

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About the author:

Louisa leads marketing for the in-house legal community at LexisNexis. She joined the dedicated in-house team at LexisNexis four years ago and has a passion for driving and facilitating initiatives which are customer-focused at their heart. Her vision is to support in-house counsel succeed in their fast-evolving role based on deep insight, data analysis and best practice gathered across the in-house community.

Prior to her in-house focused role, Louisa led the marketing for the bar and mid-market private practice sectors as well as product marketing lead for LexisPSL – LexisNexis’ cloud based, practical guidance and legal research software solution.

She brings 20 years’ marketing experience both client and agency side, specialising in B2B marketing in the Legal, TMT (Telco, Media and Technology) and Financial Services industries. In both South Africa, Europe and the UK.

Louisa is also an active member on the LexisNexis Gender Equality Matters (GEM) steering committee and is involved with the Families at LexisNexis Group which brings together, supports and lobbies for change those with an interest in balancing the challenges of work and family.