GCs Shift From Advising on Legal to Advising on Strategy

As the scope of both enterprise risk oversight and corporate governance continues to expand and evolve, so does the role of the corporate general counsel. There is little argument that today’s GC has a much wider purview beyond the customary responsibility of serving as the organization’s chief legal officer and, quite often, its corporate secretary. As these roles shift, many organizations are finding that the perspective of the general counsel—who has been trained to analyze issues legally, ethically, and objectively, is uniquely positioned to bring additional insights to strategic decisions.

In early 2016, NYSE Governance Services and BarkerGilmore conducted a study of US corporate directors and executive officers to identify trends related to the general counsel’s role and responsibilities and determine how legal departments can better prepare for the future needs of the corporation.


Melanie is director of research for Chief Executive Group. She oversees custom and proprietary research projects across the firm and acts as research editor for Chief Executive magazine and Corporate Board Member magazine. She is currently based in Nashville, Tennessee.