In the London market, the terms “Head of Legal” and “General Counsel” are often used interchangeably, but there are some subtle differences between the two roles.
A Head of Legal typically manages the legal department within a company, overseeing a team of lawyers and providing legal advice to the company’s various departments. They may also be responsible for managing relationships with external law firms and ensuring compliance with legal and regulatory requirements.
On the other hand, a General Counsel is the highest-ranking legal executive in a company, and their role is more strategic in nature. They are responsible for providing legal advice to the company’s senior management team and board of directors on a wide range of legal issues, including mergers and acquisitions, corporate governance, and risk management. They are also responsible for managing relationships with external law firms and overseeing the company’s legal affairs.
Another key difference between the two roles is their level of involvement in business strategy. A Head of Legal is primarily focused on providing legal advice and support to the business, while a General Counsel is often involved in developing and executing the company’s overall business strategy, as well as managing legal risks and opportunities.
In summary, while the roles of Head of Legal and General Counsel may appear similar, there are subtle differences between the two in terms of their scope and level of involvement in the company’s legal affairs and business strategy.
When it comes to recruiting for these positions, the best method depends on the needs of the company. Here are a few options to consider:
Internal promotion: If there are suitable candidates within the company, promoting from within can be an effective and cost-efficient way to fill these roles. This approach also has the added benefit of promoting employee retention and loyalty.
External recruitment: External recruitment can be a good option when there is no suitable internal candidate. Companies can advertise the position through various channels, such as job boards, recruitment agencies, and social media. It is important to target the right candidates and ensure the recruitment process is transparent, fair, and efficient.
Headhunting: For executive-level positions such as General Counsel, headhunting can be an effective approach. This involves identifying and approaching suitable candidates who are not actively looking for a job but may be interested in a new opportunity. This method can be expensive but may result in finding the perfect candidate for the position.
In conclusion, while the roles of Head of Legal and General Counsel may have some subtle differences in the London market, the recruitment methods to fill these positions largely depend on the company’s needs and resources. By evaluating the available options and targeting the right candidates, companies can find the best person for the job.