Image of docks through cafeteria window.

Centre for Legal Leadership launches offering support services for in-house lawyers

Published on 22 March 2017

Headed by Bruce Macmillan – former senior in-house lawyer at Visa Europe, Legal Services Board, Dell Computers – CLL combines knowledge, education, people and community/networking services. CLL has several exciting partnership initiatives with leading specialist organisations to be announced shortly.

A new service aimed at supporting General Counsel (GCs) and in-house lawyers in all aspects of career development launches this week, backed by a number of current and former GCs.

The service – called The Centre for Legal Leadership – is spearheaded by Bruce Macmillan, the former Executive Director Commercial Law of Visa Europe and consultant to the in-house community. Its goal is to give in-house lawyers the tools and advice they need to help them help themselves with all aspects of their careers and with the business of being an in-house lawyer.
The Centre for Legal Leadership is comprised of four streams to be rolled out in phases over the coming months:

  1. Knowledge: thought leadership, guidance and discussion groups about career development, being a GC and running a high performing legal team
  2. Education: web based content and accredited external learning
  3. People support (both for law departments and for individual in-house lawyers) and recruitment services
  4. Community and networking activity

Bruce Macmillan says: "This is all about responding to demand. Our research identified a significant appetite from within the in-house community for more guidance and support both on delivering greater value to the business through the role of the GC, and on personal career development.

"We're helping people to help themselves, as opposed to carrying out big change projects on their behalf."

Practical content-led advice
The content and discussion groups are built around a rich bank of practical material hosted through a dedicated website, www.legalleadership.co.uk.

The material has been drafted by a focus group of 20 in-house lawyers and 14 other specialist writers, all of whom have significant experience working in an in-house environment. Almost all articles will have had three to five in-house lawyers and over 50 years of in-house legal expertise applied to them before publication and this is intended to stimulate debate and contribution – "Counsel Sourcing" – on established and emerging good practice in the in-house legal sector. We have already had a great example of this before launch on how to apply shared parental leave in the legal team – article to follow soon.

Bruce says: "As well as delivering practical advice, part of the objective here is to create a community of peers who face similar pressures and confront similar issues to each other so they can share ideas and experience, and counter what can often be a lonely existence as an in-house lawyer."

Content collaboration
The Centre for Legal Leadership will shortly be announcing further collaborations with recognised specialist organisations including Thomson Reuters Practical Law service (formerly PLC).
 
Education
Later this year, the Centre for Legal Leadership will be launching a programme of structured learning delivered in conjunction with expert third party providers.

"Lawyers who choose to work in-house often find that they don't have ready access to structured learning and development from within their organisations," says Bruce. "We've found that the appetite for that learning is there, and the ambition to progress and offer greater value to the businesses they work for were common themes that came out of our research. Our courses we will offer fill that gap."

People services
The Centre for Legal Leadership will also offer a range of people services, with a particular focus on helping in-house lawyers recruit into their teams, as well as advise and place those looking to move roles themselves.

Bruce says: "Through the delivery of our range of services we will be creating a community of people with common skills and common ambitions. That leaves us well placed to help our clients source the kind of top talent they need to build their teams.

"Similarly, for those looking to move we are in a good position to help place people in roles that really suit them and their own particular ambitions.

"The Centre for Legal Leadership is a very comprehensive offering. At its heart is an understanding of all the different levels of support we know in-house legal leaders are crying out for and aren't always able to access right now in their own organisations."

As well as Bruce Macmillan, the launch the Centre for Legal Leadership team includes:

  • Paul Bentall, formerly GC at the Financial Ombudsman Service

  • Peter Giblin, a specialist consultant with extensive experience in a large number of areas ranging from headhunting and recruitment, via executive management, to legal education and mentoring.

The Centre for Legal Leadership is part of the RPC group of professional services, covering legal, actuarial and consultancy.