One Day of Leading a Global Legal Team
Edith Shih, General Counsel, Hutchinson Whampoa, Hong Kong, China
Looking back to when I first set up the Hutchison-Whampoa Ltd (HWL) legal department 14 years ago, I was a one-woman band. Initially, there was considerable resistance from subsidiary companies towards the notion of requiring legal clearance for specific commercial actions and activities. However, considering a group of our size, it is paramount that proper accounting and oversight of legal risks is in place. With the support of senior management, our subsidiaries and subgroups began to see the benefit of legal input. Within a few years, at their request I set up legal departments in all the subgroups, with a dual reporting line to the subsidiary chief executive and to me at Group head office. This was in accordance with a legal policy that was set up since day one.
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