Dr de Gabriele addressed a LEAD conference on the interaction between Corporate Governance and the role of in-house counsel or as sometimes referred to general counsel. He focused on the changing role of in-house counsel within a company as yet another element or instrument in an ever-increasing battery of checks and balances intended to enhance governance structures within corporate entities. Another aid to the Board of Directors in discharging their ever-increasing burden of responsibility in directing and managing the corporation.
Louis de Gabriele pointed out the increased awareness of corporate governance. The call for greater accountability of public companies to their shareholders and the market as a whole will bring about mounting pressures for alternative answers; for more creative solutions in attaining higher and more enhanced levels of governance, and this will have its effect not only in the manner that directors will have to act in discharging their responsibilities, but also in the manner that they will inevitably pass those responsibilities down the line to other senior executives and managers within the corporate structure, he said.
It is in this light that Dr de Gabriele discussed the changing role of in-house counsel– indeed as a senior officer of the company whose principal role within the company is in providing the directors with the comfort that the business being undertaken is aligned to the applicable legal and regulatory requirements; as the source of guidance to the rest of management; indeed as a check to management in those instances when management may become over-zealous in its attempts to enhance performance; as a risk manager for the corporation.