Lawyers on Boards: Going Beyond the ‘Legal’ Label
Jeffery Tan, Group General Counsel, Jardine Cycle & Carriage Limited, Singapore
Lawyers bring a different and valuable perspective as directors to the boards of listed companies. This is often underappreciated as lawyers are seen as just legal advisors rather than individuals who can bring business insights and strategic counsel to the success of boards. Part of the solution lies with lawyers needing to exhibit skills beyond the law. They should focus on and highlight their business, financial, management and leadership capabilities. In this regard, in-house counsels have the edge as they are familiar with the inner workings of boards and what resonates with directors and chairpersons. There is a growing need for lawyers to re-invent themselves in order to make the transition to directorships on boards; and thereby demonstrate the many contributions they can make to the success of boards and companies.
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