LFP218 – The Role of a Chief Legal Officer/General Counsel in Tech Firms w/Harj Gill GC at the LiiV Group

So yet another fresh topic we haven’t covered so far 🙂 What is the role of a CLO – Chief Legal Officer – aka General Counsel in a Tech firm in general, as a superset of Fintech? Back in the day, well quite a few days ago most all companies used external lawyers almost entirely. At a certain point the concept of in-house lawyer appeared. Since then the number of laws has only mushroomed and the whole world of regulation has exploded massively. To cut a long story short there is an ever-expanding need to “square the circle” where the circle is the businesses creative desires and the square is the Lilliputians’ zillion and one Rules That Must Be Obeyed At All Times.

It is perhaps this need more than anything which has driven the evolution of the in-house lawyer into becoming a CLO/General Counsel as to get the optimal outcome someone needs to deeply understand both a specific business with its idiosyncrasies and desires as well as the law/reg thing.

So in this episode we dive into the world of a CLO with Harj who is GC at the LiiV Group and will leave you all with some feel for what type of company when should start considering creating another box on the organogram, another chair around the C-suite table.

Topics discussed include:

  • tech machines “updating” themselves
  • Formula One and domestic racing simulators
  • data-driven racing
  • driving at Monza
  • Harj’s career journey to becoming a Tech GC
  • Private Equity and SAAS businesses
  • the evolution of GC/CLO roles in the US and in the UK
  • the variation in the usage of the terms
  • the motivation behind this evolution
  • the cyclicality of the growth curve
  • reporting lines and moves to reporting into CEOs
  • how many laws are there?
  • the move from ~”document creation” to more creative/business re-engineering mentality for GCs/CLOs
  • using SAAS as a Case Study for the difference between having a GC/CLO and simply outsourcing to external lawyers
  • legal issues where one invariably needs to go outside
  • impacting eg sales cycles
  • difference in incentive alignment
  • how do you measure the value-add of the legal department
  • the challenge of getting a sensible bonus approach for “defensive” functions – esp varieties of risk (market/credit/legal/compliance etc)
  • why the tech world is different… eg rate of change
  • data and challenges therearound
  • defensive and creative aspects of risk management of all types
  • which types of companies should have a CLO/GC?
  • what are the criteria to consider?
  • how importance is good governance in any given org and how would this function relate to that?
  • trend to pivoting from CLO to COO as a litmus test of how things are deeloping
  • explanations and shoutouts for the Liiv Group
  • digital anthropology and the “why?”
  • Liiv’s portfolio of companies

And much much more 🙂

Share and enjoy!