A handful of principles for in-house digit@l lawyers

A handful of principles for in-house digit@l lawyers

Lo que vais a leer a continuación lo publiqué en octubre de 2013. En su momento no tuvo mucha repercusión pero creo que los principios siguen plenamente vigentes. La revolución digital ya ha llegado y muchos abogados internos no se han adaptado a la nueva realidad.

Ya lo he dicho en varias ocasiones: creo que quienes no sean capaces de aportar valor a la organización para la que trabajan, lo van a tener complicado en breve.

Ahí van los principios (en inglés).

  • You are an in-house counsel not a public notary. You have to walk hand-in-hand with business guys not just advise about the legal/regulatory risks for them to assume the burden.


  • Your starting point should be in favor of the business requests (unless they are proposing absolutely crazy things…) In case you are not sure, it´s better to say YES.



  • Common sense works awfully well. Trust it!


  • Take advantage of your background as opposite of being stuck in pure theory. Potentially any issue that drops in your inbox may pose legal problems but -based on your experience- how many times real problems arise? How often did we warn about legal concerns that never appeared at the end? Actually, what happens is that the difficulties you finally have to face are the ones you did not foresee.


  • Consider what lawyers working at top companies would do in this case or what kind of answer would you expect from your legal counsel if you were the CEO.


  • It is much better to get wrong by saying GO AHEAD or because you reply quickly than advising not to do it to avoid problems (for you) or unduly delay your reply. When providing legal advice you always have to focus on company´s benefit and forget our personal interest.


  • In minor issues it is not necessary to involve the majority of the legal team to be sure that everything is covered (or to “share responsibilities”…). It just delays the answer and does not necessarily add real value. Again common sense is the key.


  • Keep up to date to what it is happening in the market, test new services and products, understand your company´s strategy, follow the industry leaders… It is impossible to provide creative and disruptive legal solutions without understanding the environment.


  • Digital economy is constantly evolving. Don´t pretend that lawyers can stay away from the game.


  • You must be constantly asking yourself questions like am I sure that I am doing my best? May I collaborate in a more efficient way with the team? How can I add more value? Is there any internal process that may be simplified? Many times we blame others but the problem is inside. Be the change you want to see in the world.


  • Finally, the most important one: HAVE FUN while working. Otherwise, it is not worth it.


¿Qué os parece? ¿Echáis en falta alguno? Me encantará recibir opiniones, críticas o cualquier tipo de comentario.


Foto del usuario de Flickr marco_1186

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