Coffee break with Weightwatchers

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

  • Coffee break with Weightwatchers
  • What does the commercial world expect from in-house counsel?
  • What are the key differences between in-house and an external lawyer?
  • How can in-house teams set themselves apart from external law firms?
  • Communication skills
  • Management skills
  • Managing relationships
  • How should you approach structuring an in-house team?

Coffee break with Weightwatchers

How can in-house teams stand out from external law firms? Richard Reade, Vice President and Assistant General Counsel at Weightwatchers, explains how in-house teams can go beyond the services provided by external legal teams.

What does the commercial world expect from in-house counsel?

The commercial world expects a lot, and it’s not always appreciated just how much internal counsel add to a business.

What are the key differences between in-house and an external lawyer?

Essentially an in-house lawyer needs the same core characteristics as a good external lawyer:

  1. sound judgment

  2. technical ability

  3. analytical skills

  4. attention to detail

  5. efficiency

The key difference between the in-house and external world is the expectation of the business. Business people rate lawyers in the same way they would rate a business colleague. The moment you set foot into the in-house world you are becoming a business person and business people expect you to look like a business person, sound like a business person but think like a lawyer.

Although external lawyers are able to understand the needs of a business, in-house teams must understand the entire business.

How can in-house teams set themselves apart from external law firms?

As I’ve already mentioned, in-house teams must have the core skills of any external lawyer. However, there are other characteristics expected of in-house counsel, which highlight the differences between in-house and external teams.

Communication

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