Holmes Lilley on the Role General Counsel Plays in Corporate Governance
In the world of business, big corporations are as complex as they come. Corporate governance is not just about synergy and adopting next-generation technologies. There’s more that has to do with strategy, boardroom dynamics, risk management, corporate culture, and decision-making. These are all essential aspects of corporate governance and relate to the role of the general counsel.
Holmes Lilley of Newport Coast, California, is an accomplished general counsel for both public and private companies, with a proven record of leadership, strong legal counsel, and business acumen. His expertise includes successfully managing complex legal and business issues for small, mid-size, and publicly traded companies. Put simply, one can imagine the general counsel as the quarterback on matters related to risk assessment, regulation, internal audit, litigation, and compliance monitoring, among others.
Corporate Governance in a Nutshell
Every corporation has a responsibility toward its shareholders. It needs to make sure that corporate growth takes a steady rising path and that its value keeps increasing according to a clear and well-defined strategy, says Holmes Lilley. At the same time, other stakeholders including employees, customers, and partners need to be satisfied with their relationship with the company. This, in a nutshell, is what corporate governance is all about.
For that strategy to work well, there should be a system in place that manages, oversees, and facilitates the cooperation between all these diverse stakeholders from the top management tiers all the way down to the business divisions and staff.
Holmes Lilley on the Role of the General Counsel
According to Holmes Lilley, the role of the general counsel is very involved in the inner workings of the corporation and corporate governance. That role can be summed up in the following:
● Risk Management: Risk and business go hand in hand. With every new project or business venture, there is an element of risk involved. The general counsel’s role is to assess this risk, evaluate its impact, and direct the board members to focus on the most urgent risk elements and how to mitigate them.
● Decision- Making: Decision-making and strategy are almost inseparable. With decisions, comes responsibility. The general counsel not only actively takes part in shaping the corporation’s strategy but takes responsibility for the important decisions that influence its policies and business trajectory.
● Culture: Every corporation’s culture must reflect its business values and be based upon its inner policies. The general counsel not only promotes these values but also encourages the various stakeholders to engage in a healthy debate for the general benefit of all.