How does your firm work with General Counsel in making sure the board fulfills its duty to monitor— not only in terms of addressing director liability problems as they emerge, but also in proactively minimising the risk of future events?

James SherwinManaging Partner, Sherwin O'Riordan solicitors

In-house General Counsel roles are among the most challenging, powerful and influential roles in law today. The demands on the in-house lawyer are increasing as they adapt to support businesses in meeting corporate objectives in an ever changing regulatory and compliance landscape.

The in-house lawyer must be able to help identify potential solutions and deliver an outcome that allows the business to achieve its objectives in a legally robust way. Therefore, while legal skills are important, business acumen, pragmatism and the ability to remain focused on the overall business strategy, is vital to ensure that the legal advice given supports the achievement of the business objectives.

The changes brought about by the Companies Act 2014, have brought Irish company law up to speed with the UK, making it more contemporary, but also putting greater focus and accountability on directors. We begin our work with General Counsel prior to the appointment of a new director, ensuring that the candidate has a comprehensive understanding of the role and their obligations before they accept the position as director.

Extensive training in the legal aspects of their role at the outset can save organisations and directors from difficulty, expense, and damage to reputation. We also work to implement processes that minimise the risk of breach of duty arising, as well as encouraging and enacting proactive reviewing and audit processes. We focus on the practical application of compliance measures to maximise the level of protection from risk for our clients, in order to protect their business.