In-House Careers
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In-House Legal Tip: Be an expert in your Company … and the law.

3 min • 13 Nov 23


“An informed environment is a controlled environment. The in-house counsel community needs to understand their advisory terrain intimately if they are to navigate it deftly.” 
Matthew Glynn (Managing Director, GLS Group)

Here is a simple proposition that I think we can all understand:

If you are preparing for a trip understanding the terrain that you will be navigating is essential to allow you to plan for and execute a successful journey.

The same principle applies if you are to become a highly successful in-house legal advisor.  

Knowing the law well is not enough. Knowing how it applies to your company is critical.

So, what should you know about your Company? Here are some things to consider:

  1. Activities: what does your company do and where. products, markets, etc. You should know the “what” and the “how” it operates. 
  2. Decisions: how do decisions really get made – both the formal and informal processes (and know when each will apply)
  3. Weaknesses: what is your Company “bad” at – this is often where problems come from
  4. History: you should be able to speak to the history of your company
  5. Ecosystem: you should know the organizational design of your Company like the back of your hand
  6. Policies: you must be familiar with all of your Company’s policies as they pertain to the legal operations
  7. Personalities: what are the personalities of all the major decision makers
  8. Risk Appetite: what is your Company’s appetite for risk and how to interpret that safely
  9. Economic Drivers: what are the true economic drivers at play in your Company
  10. Objectives: what are the real objectives of your Company, and how can you contribute
  11. Values: what are the inviolable values that your Company represents
  12. Sector: know your sector well – and focus on monitoring updates from the regulators of your sector.

In short – an informed environment is a controlled environment. You need to understand the advisory terrain in which you are required to perform miracles. As such, you need to inform yourself of all of these matters.

It is also worth noting that detailed organisational knowledge is considered one of the most “heavily weighted” factors when it comes to the appointment of legal team leadership. Being strong in this area means that you have the ability to massively outscore any external leadership candidate – so be sure to press home this advantage.  

So, ask yourself this – have you engaged in the “intentional” acquisition of company-specific knowledge? If not, then take time to factor that into your knowledge development plan. 

If you want more in-house legal team performance and career insights – please do join the GLS Legal Operations Community.  


Please check out the GLS solutions and know-how resources listed on the right side of this page – they might assist your legal team with the issues explored in this Blog. 

Of course, if you would like discuss your transformation needs – please book a 30 minute FREE CONSULT WITH GLS 

In the interim, here are 7 resources and tools that may assist you as you transform the performance capabilities of your legal team:

1. GLS's Ultimate Guide to Legal Operations: download this HERE, and read it thoroughly and regularly. It is a wonderful transformation companion

2. GLS Transformation Boot Camp: for our free and hugely successful, 10 week long, email-based boot camp on how to effectively transform your legal team you can SIGN UP HERE

3. GLS Knowledge Centre: click HERE to access lots of informative and instructive white papers, blogs and training resources etc. - all focused on helping to improve your legal team's performance

4. GLS Legal Operations Community: join the GLS Legal Operations Community and collaborate with other in-house leaders as they seek to tackle many of the same performance issues that you face, click here to JOIN NOW

5. Visit GLS Connect: visit the GLS CONNECT PAGE and select the information you would like to receive from the GLS Legal Operations Community

6. GLS Legal Team Transformation Plans: mitigate the risks of transformation failure by taking a GLS TRANSFORMATION SUPPORT PLAN 

7. Register: GLS Legal Operations Centre: REGISTER HERE to access the GLS Legal Operations Centre for free and to receive more than US$20,000 worth of legal team performance resources

© The GLS Group - Law Rewritten  

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