The High Tech Team
Louise Pentland, EVP and Chief Legal Officer, Nokia Oyj, Finland
It’s often said that change is the only constant in life. The legal profession is no exception to that rule! Over the last two decades, we have experienced significant growth and change, both in law firms and in-house teams. Having been fortunate to have been an in-house lawyer during one of the fastest telecommunications advances in history, I have been reflecting on how this has impacted in-house legal professionals, teams and the role of the general counsel or chief legal officer.
From the evolution of specialists and generalists, through the increased cross-over between lawyers and non-lawyers; the changing regulatory environment, the focus on privacy, increasing significance of both essential and implementation patents to the “smartphone wars” and beyond, our work continues to evolve. As a team, we must be dynamic to meet the needs of a rapidly changing business and in our role as strategic counsellors to the business teams and ultimately to the CEO and board of directors.
During my tenure as Nokia’s chief legal officer, there has been dramatic change in our industry, including convergence of technologies, mergers, acquisitions and new entrants, all of which bring lots of disruption. As often happens in such times, there has been as much change within the company as without. I have had the pleasure to work with two CEOs and two chairmen and many high calibre leaders on our management teams. At the same time, we have seen our market share decline from a leading position to now being a challenger in the industry.
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