I’ve been writing a number of digests for in-house counsel. In my first, I asked, “are you a lawyer or a business person first?”.
Today, I ask you to consider this:
If, today, you were to analyse your top 10 to 20 core business relationships, how many are in trouble and how many are heading that way?
Using a RAG method, how many would be amber or red? In my experience, in-house counsel have at least one red relationship and several ambers at any time.
As in-house counsel your primary objective is to provide pro-active input into the management of legal risks, in a context of consistently poor economic conditions, a more complex business and regulatory environment and the need to ensure the smooth management and operation of the legal team.
In this context, fraught relationships are a drain on your time but they are never easy to turn around. When the money and the strategy are in place what goes wrong are the relationships.
My experience working with in-house counsel is that once they understand that they can reframe their relationships to create win-win outcomes rather than the win-lose outcomes they were trained in a Law school, then these relationships can be converted to green.
So how would you rate your current relationships?