REUTERS | A man carrying an umbrella walks across the Old Town Square during a rainstorm in Prague, May 30, 2013. REUTERS/David W Cerny

Please join us on 22 November 2023 (2.00pm – 3.00pm) for a webinar hosted by The Centre for Legal Leadership that will look at the current challenges facing in-house lawyers.

In recent years, in-house lawyers have navigated an array of financial, political, environmental and pandemic events that impacted their organisations. In responding to these challenges, in-house lawyers have had to reconsider their roles and sometimes alter the ways in which they work. This webinar will examine the extent to which these changes have been temporary, borne of necessity, and those which are likely to become business as usual. It will focus on whether an in-house lawyer’s ethical responsibilities have changed, the scope of their role and the impact of new technology.

The discussion will be led by our speakers, Sonya Branch, General Counsel, Bank of England and Richard Hill, General Counsel for Downstream and Renewables at Shell.

REUTERS | Goran Tomasevic

The Chancellor will deliver the 2023 Autumn Statement on 22 November 2023. In-house lawyers should also take note of the withdrawal of the draft Companies (Strategic Report and Directors’ Report) (Amendment) Regulations 2023, publication of the Economic Crime and Corporate Transparency Act 2023, and consultations on non-financial reporting, regulatory reform, audit reform and atypical working.

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REUTERS | A wind farm generates electricity near bales of hay in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains near the town of Pincher Creek, Alberta September 27, 2010. The non-polluting source of renewable energy is fed into the provincial electrical grid that powers Southern Alberta industries and residences. REUTERS/Todd Korol (CANADA - Tags: ENVIRONMENT BUSINESS ENERGY IMAGES OF THE DAY)

The latest Centre for Legal Leadership webinar, hosted in conjunction with Thomson Reuters, focused on environmental, social and governance (ESG) issues. Jenny Block, General Counsel and Board Secretary at Ofwat, the economic regulator of the privatised water and sewerage industries, offered a regulator’s perspective. Christy Baker, General Counsel and Data Protection Officer at the multinational transport company, FirstGroup, provided a view from a regulated business. Read more.

REUTERS | Dominic Ebenbichler

In-house lawyers are likely to be taking stock of the impact on their organisations of the significant changes to the UK government’s net zero targets and commitments this month. Two reports on the development of artificial intelligence and the imposition of a large fine by Ireland’s data protection regulator for a breach of the GDPR are also noteworthy.

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REUTERS | Andrew Winning

Since launch of the In-house Future Forum last year, its members have discussed a variety of topics affecting the legal profession from the perspective of those in the early stages of their careers (see Practical Law In-house Future Forum: shaping the direction of the legal profession).

Meetings to date have focused on:

  • Hybrid working – and how individuals and their managers can mitigate its potential impact on career progression.
  • Networking – including advice on how to adopt a structured approach to making connections and build your confidence as a less experienced networker.
  • Mentoring – discussing how to find a formal mentor, and recognising mentoring elements in existing relationships that can give you what you need.
  • Career development and common sticking points, including imposter syndrome, work/life “balance” and identifying and filling gaps in your skillset.

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REUTERS | People enjoy the sunset at the seafront in Marseille, France, June 29, 2016. REUTERS/Kai Pfaffenbach

The latest Legal Leaders webinar, hosted by The Centre for Legal Leadership, is on 27 September 2023 (2:00 – 3:00pm). The topic for discussion is environmental, social and governance (ESG).

The webinar will explore how ESG factors are impacting the role and the work of GCs and in-house counsel generally, some of the challenges they face and some of the opportunities. The impact will vary depending on the sector and the nature of the organisation’s business, but typical areas of activity include:

  • Regulatory compliance (such as the requirements imposed on organisations to meet certain reporting and other standards imposed by financial and other regulators).
  • Legal obligations (for example, in relation to contractual requirements).
  • Managing corporate risks (such as the integrity of supply chains, crisis management and the increased risk of litigation).

The discussion will be led by our speakers, Jenny Block, GC at OfWat, and Christy Baker, GC and DPO at FirstGroup plc.

REUTERS | David Mdzinarishvili

In September, the FRC consultation on proposed revisions to the UK Corporate Governance Code closes and the Taskforce on Nature-related Financial Disclosures (TNFD) is expected to publish its final disclosure framework. In-house lawyers should also take note of the launch of a consultation by the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) on its draft guidance on biometric data.

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REUTERS | Residents and tourists enjoy the sun at Barra da Tijuca beach during a summer day in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, January 15, 2017. REUTERS/Nacho Doce - RTSVNJY

Publication of the draft Companies (Strategic Report and Directors’ Report) (Amendment) Regulations 2023 and the first two IFRS Sustainability Disclosure Standards are among the most noteworthy recent developments. The Employment Relations (Flexible Working) Bill has also received Royal Assent and in-house lawyers should be aware of two related consultations on flexible working arrangements.

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REUTERS | Luke MacGregor

A consultation on the UK Corporate Governance Code is the most high-profile development to keep track of this month. In-house lawyers should also be aware of a call for evidence for the non-financial reporting information review and another on the role that lawyers’ conduct can play in the misuse of non-disclosure agreements.

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REUTERS | A field of sunflowers is seen during a hot, sunny day near the lake Steinsee in Niederseeon, Germany, July 31, 2020. REUTERS/Michael Dalder

On behalf of the Practical Law Future Forum Steering Committee, we would like to invite you to participate in a meeting on the topic of mentoring and career development for early-career in-house lawyers, at 1300-1400 on Tuesday 20 June via Teams webinar.

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