Today’s general counsel is much more than just an in-house lawyer. The GC role has been evolving for decades, but in the last few years that evolution has accelerated, driven in part by the recent financial crisis. In that calamity many GCs found themselves thrust into much bigger roles at their companies—those of strategic adviser or even business partner to their boards of directors. Even as the crisis has passed, many GCs continue to performing those duties.

While GCs gain their seats atop corporate legal departments through experience, knowledge and skill, the prospect of taking on additional responsibilities may seem daunting. And that’s exactly why GWLS will feature a panel titled: “The Trusted Advisor: What General Counsel Should Know About the CEO, Board of Directors and Collaboration.”

The summit’s opening panel will bring together five distinguished speakers to explore the changing role of the GC and how it increasingly requires in-house counsel to deploy exceptional legal skills and the ability to serve as a trusted advisor and effective partner to the CEO and board of directors.

The panelists are:

  • Alfreda Bradley-Coar, Vice President and General Counsel of GE Healthcare, Americas. Bradley-Coar has spent more than 20 years advising CEOs and other top-level executives on legal, business and management issues.
  • Denise M. Faltischek, Executive Vice President and General Counsel, Chief Compliance Officer of The Hain Celestial Group. She is a seasoned corporate and securities lawyer who worked her way up the ranks to secure her GC title.
  • Melissa Frugé, Senior Vice President, General Counsel and Secretary of HomeAway, Inc. Frugé, a former DLA Piper associate, is president of the General Counsel Forum and president elect of the Austin, Texas chapter of the Association of Corporate Counsel. She now heads the legal department at one of the country’s largest vacation rental listing companies.
  • Hilary K. Krane, Executive Vice President, Chief Administrative Officer and General Counsel of Nike, Inc., brings a wealth of board experience to the discussion as well as a global business perspective.
  • Bridget Powell, General Counsel of HSBC Bank Australia Ltd., has worked closely with senior executives and boards in her 18 years serving as an in-house lawyer.

Each of these speakers brings a breadth of insights on juggling the growing responsibilities of today’s GC. And they can each provide a deep understanding of how to marry top-level legal skills with true business acumen to foster a successful working relationship with their CEOs and boards.