General Counsel As Persuasive Counselors To CEOs And Boards A Concept With A Dedicated Advocate - Norm Veasey

Sunday, July 1, 2007 - 00:00

Al Driver, Editor

The Metropolitan Corporate Counsel

We are honored to again feature Norm Veasey on our front cover. He encourages best practices by general counsel by using the approach that he followed as Chief Justice of the Delaware Supreme Court. In that capacity, he tirelessly articulated aspirational governance principles in speeches, interviews and articles that helped CEOs and Boards to adjust their practices to the reactions of the courts of Delaware (and all the jurisdictions that follow their lead) to the lessons taught by the corporate scandals.

In his interview in this issue, he discusses general counsel's role as persuasive counselors to their CEOs and Boards. Drawing on his own experience as a judge and the insights of leading former and current general counsel and those with whom they interface, he articulates aspirational principles which will enable them to play that role most effectively.

As persuasive counselors, Norm depicts general counsel as the glue between the CEO and the Board by providing them with essential, and welcome, ongoing guidance with respect to principles of good governance and compliance that will enable their companies (and themselves from a personal liability standpoint) to successfully navigate through the thicket of laws and regulations that they face now and in the future and to take into consideration in their business decisions the unique insights of general counsel.

Norm points out that to play this role, general counsel need to be deeply involved with the Board, the CEO and in the activities of senior management and must have a continuing and unimpeded flow of information from all levels within the corporation. We include Special Sections in this issue and in our August issue which reflect the reactions to Norm's analysis of current and former general counsel, outside counsel and a prominent former CEO.

We are fortunate that Norm is devoting so much of his time and talent to a subject of such great importance to the future of corporate America - and expect that he will continue to do so. Stay tuned.