Exporting Best Legal Practices to a Japanese Head Office
Bruce Ortwine, General Counsel and Deputy Legal Manager, Sumitomo Trust & Banking Co, USA
In the United States, the role of corporate general counsel has grown over the last several years. Highly publicized corporate scandals, some highlighting either actual or perceived deficiencies in the role of in-house counsel, have resulted in new legal, regulatory and shareholder requirements. The new rules have demanded that the general counsel improve both the standard and scope of his or her practice, and define more precisely exactly who the client is. In light of these developments, the task of general counsel for U.S. offices and affiliates of Japanese corporations is also expanded. It now includes effectively communicating to the head office evolving 'best legal practices' in the U.S. and persuading the Japanese parent to incorporate those practices into its own legal practices.
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