Through the looking glass: General Counsel Report 2016 | KPMG | BM
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Through the looking glass: General Counsel Report 2016

Through the looking glass: General Counsel Report 2016

How corporate leaders view the General Counsel of today and tomorrow.


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All senior executives worth their salt occupy a hot seat. They know that the fortunes of the company rest on their ability to excel. But some seats are hotter than others. All eyes are on the chief executive officer (CEO) when things go right or wrong. The chairman of the board has an onerous fiduciary responsibility to the shareholders. But the general counsel (GC), sometimes titled the chief legal officer, occupies a unique role on the fulcrum of risk and opportunity. He or she must protect the brand and, at the same time, help to enhance its value.

In this global study of the role of the GC, for the first time we ask corporate leaders from outside the legal function about their views on the position. This marks a 180-degree change in perspective. Our previous reports were based on the views of the GC. In our first worldwide survey of GCs published in 2012, we showed how GCs are moving, in some cases boldly, beyond the confines of the law to assume more responsibility for business strategy. The second report on GCs in 2014 examined the impact of globalization and future trends on the role of a company’s chief legal officer.

Now, in this third report, we have turned the tables to talk to other corporate leaders about the GC’s role. Instead of asking GCs to look in the mirror, we go through the looking glass to obtain a fresh perspective on this ever-changing, demanding position.

© 2018 KPMG, a group of Bermuda limited liability companies which are member firms of the KPMG network of independent member firms affiliated with KPMG International Cooperative (“KPMG International”), a Swiss entity. All rights reserved.

The information contained herein is of a general nature and is not intended to address the circumstances of any particular individual or entity. Although we endeavour to provide accurate and timely information, there can be no guarantee that such information is accurate as of the date it is received or that it will continue to be accurate in the future. No one should act on such information without appropriate professional advice after a thorough examination of the particular situation.

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