From in-house lawyer to trusted advisor: the importance of understanding your business—an interview with Kent Dreadon
From in-house lawyer to trusted advisor: the importance of understanding your business—an interview with Kent Dreadon

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

  • From in-house lawyer to trusted advisor: the importance of understanding your business—an interview with Kent Dreadon
  • Tell us a little about your background
  • How has having a law and a business degree shaped what you’re doing now?
  • How do you help your team develop their mix of legal and business knowledge?
  • What do you look for in your team to demonstrate that they have an understanding of the business?
  • How do you persuade a business of the value that lawyers can add?
  • How do you hold with the view that lawyers are there to give advice but not to make decisions?

A successful in-house lawyer has influence within a business and can add more than just legal value. Kent Dreadon, Deputy General Counsel and Head of Legal at Telefónica UK Limited (which operates under the O2 brand in the UK), talks to us about two key elements for success: a thorough understanding of the business and good communication.

Tell us a little about your background

I grew up in New Zealand and completed a law degree and a business degree there. After two and half years working in New Zealand, I came to the UK where I worked in private practice for seven years most of them at the old SJ Berwin, now King Wood Mallesons, in general commercial litigation.

I initially joined Telefónica on a secondment doing commercial litigation. When an opportunity arose to take on a permanent role as Head of Litigation I grabbed it. I really enjoyed the mix of technical legal work and the overlay of the business part of it. The fact that I had done a business degree and was interested in that helped.

A key moment for me was when I was asked to get more involved in regulatory disputes. All of a sudden I was out of my comfort zone and dealing with a really complex and challenging area. I discovered that my skill in that space was to bind everyone

Popular documents