Brave new world: how to create a tech-savvy in-house legal function
Brave new world: how to create a tech-savvy in-house legal function

The following In House Advisor guidance note provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Brave new world: how to create a tech-savvy in-house legal function
  • Tell us a little bit about your background and your career to date
  • How did you approach creating the new structure at Pearson?
  • How have you addressed the role of technology in the team?
  • How did you go about engaging with your clients in the organisation?
  • Did you need to build business cases to get the funding for these projects?
  • How do you sell the benefits of all the changes back to the business?
  • What have been the challenges and successes along the way?
  • How do you think the skills needed by in-house lawyers will change in the future?

In the emerging legal landscape, technology and an innovative team structure are integral parts of an efficient legal function. We talk to Bjarne Tellmann, Senior Vice President and General Counsel of Pearson Plc, about the new skills lawyers need to succeed and the impact of technology on service delivery.

Tell us a little bit about your background and your career to date

I have a somewhat unconventional background for a general counsel. I started out as an actor in Norway, where I did some film work in the 80s. In the mid-80s I began taking a Bachelor of Fine Arts at Boston University’s School for the Arts, majoring in theatre, but half way through I added political science. Over time, I became more and more infatuated with politics and economics and eventually dropped theatre altogether. After graduating, I did a master’s degree in International Relations at the LSE. I then returned to the US to figure out what I wanted to do. After a gap year in which I watched a lot of LA Law, I decided to apply to law school. I took my Juris Doctor at the University of Chicago where I fell in love with the law from day one, as it joined up my interests in economics, politics and human nature.

I graduated from Chicago in 1995,