In-house Legal Counsel in a Bank: Tasks and Chances

Luca Bonzanini, General Counsel, UBI Banca S.c.p.a.

With this article we intend to show the role of in-house legal counsel in an Italian bank, with a particular focus on the specific problems it has to face in everyday practice and on the activities it conducts in order to ensure that the bank's business is compliant with all laws and jurisdictions. The role of in-house legal counsel during last years has become, on the one hand, wider and wider and, on the other hand, more related to internal operations and strategic processes of the company. Internal offices and corporate top management often contact in-house legal counsel not only to receive advice on certain items with potential legal consequences, but also on issues related to the core business of the company and to relevant corporate managerial matters, even if they do not have an immediate legal profile. As a result of its new function, in-house legal counsel is required to develop a knowledge background not limited to general legal principles, but extended also to peculiar aspects of the core business conducted by the company he belongs to. Besides this, in-house legal counsel usually acts on its own initiative, not only, as in the past, to report on new laws and acts, but also to verify the operational measures adopted to be compliant with all provisions in force.

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