To the Readers of The Metropolitan Corporate Counsel:
The Canadian Corporate Counsel Association (CCCA) is the national voice and forum for Canadian in-house counsel. Representing more than 4500 in-house members and growing, CCCA is dedicated to the advancement of professional skills and careers among in-house counsel members, advocating on issues of importance to the profession, and showcasing the national and global value of the in-house profession within legal and business environments.
As you, an American in-house counsel, are reading this, I encourage you to become familiar with the CCCA. When your business reaches across the border, we can act as your trusted guide, introducing you to experienced Canadian colleagues who can help with the cross-border transition.
This year, the CCCA’s main focus will be the official launch of the Certified In-House Counsel – Canada program. At the CCCA’s National Conference in April, after months of research, discussion and planning, I and Roger Martin, dean of the Rotman School of Management at the University of Toronto, announced that the CCCA and the Rotman School had partnered to launch the Business Leadership Program for In-House Counsel. Successful completion of this program will provide graduates with the designation of CIC.C – Certified In-House Counsel, Canada. The response to the program has been very exciting, and the first cohort of students will begin the program in February of 2014.
From my own experience, and from talking with many in-house counsel from across Canada and other countries, I know that moving to an in-house role and climbing through the ranks within an organization is challenging in ways we’d never considered. This new certification program is designed to address those challenges, filling the learning gap between traditional forms of legal education and the skills needed to succeed as a strategic business partner and trusted legal advisor. Providing graduates with a competitive edge, this program is ideal for in-house counsel looking to advance in their careers to a general counsel position or to the executive level.
The topics are universal: the roles of governance and management in organizations, effective business communication, organizational culture, problem-solving, risk management, regulatory compliance, employment/labour/human resources, privacy, financial management, crisis management and more. I believe that this program has the ability to transcend borders and eventually be adapted by in-house counsel associations in other countries for their own local markets.
The in-house profession is changing and growing. We are a respected and valued voice, and together, we are louder.
Grant Borbridge, Q.C.