Building relationships with business people to whom in-house teams report
Building relationships with business people to whom in-house teams report

The following In-house Advisor practice note provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Building relationships with business people to whom in-house teams report

When you have functional or dotted line responsibility for in-house lawyers who report to business people, it can be a challenge to develop a relationship with those business people so that you can fulfil that responsibility. Dotted line reporting can be a challenge and in the worst case scenario you could find yourself fixed with accountability for the activities of remote teams, without visibility as to what they are doing or any influence over how they do it.

Read Practice Note: Fostering relationships with remote ‘functional’ reports.

When taking on functional or dotted line responsibility, you should consider the following:

  1. how much influence can you expect to have over:

    1. the hiring and firing of in-house lawyers by the business boss?

    2. the terms and remuneration of those in-house lawyers?

    3. the appraisal and development plans of those in-house lawyers?

    4. the use which is made of those in-house lawyers?

    5. the selection and use of external advisers?

  2. how much information will the business boss be willing to share in connection with aforementioned questions? How likely is he/she to instruct subordinates to co-operate?

  3. how sensitive is the business boss likely to be about information about business activities being shared with the head office legal team prematurely?

  4. how receptive will the business boss be to covering the cost of members of his legal team participating in training sessions or group wide initiatives?

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