Ugo Draetta uses his 30 years of experience as in-house counsel for General Electric and Fiat to bring you On the Side of In-House Counsel. Draetta ended his career as Vice President - Senior Counsel - International for G.E., with responsibility for all the company’s legal issues outside of the U.S.
On the Side of In-House Counsel describes the various problems encountered by in-house counsel in defining their role in a situation where there are many manuals describing the role of other corporate functions (finance, treasury, sales, engineering, manufacturing), but none on the legal function. Many companies, especially in continental Europe, do not have a legal operation and, when they finally hire a lawyer, he/she must perform a pioneering role. Company managers, who must properly utilize the legal function, will benefit from the book.
On the Side of In-House Counsel highlights the complex relations existing between an in-house counsel and his/her client, who is also his/her manager. Hence, the need for a personal chemistry without which an in-house counsel cannot efficiently operate. The book also describes the managerial skills required of an in-house counsel when he/she is the head of a large legal operation and suggests the appropriate ways to solve issues, such as centralisation versus decentralization of the various company lawyers, and relationships with outside counsel and with the external world (Universities, Institutions). The book ends with a plea for in-house counsel to become global lawyers in a global world, lead lawyers and, in the end, lawyer-statesmen.
Ugo Draetta is a Professor of International Law at the Catholic University of Milan, Italy. As an international arbitrator, he has acted in over 50 arbitration proceedings. Mr. Draetta is former Vice President and Senior Counsel -- International -- for General Electric Co. (USA) and General Counsel and Secretary of Fiat SpA; He is a member of the Scientific Committee of the Italian Arbitration Association; member of the Board of Editors of the Revue de droit des affaires internationales/ International Business Law Journal, published by Sweet & Maxwell.
"I had the privilege of working with Ugo Draetta when we were both business general counsel at GE. His book is a reflection of his great talent as a lawyer and a business partner. He understands the theory and the practice of lawyers adding value to a business. It is an essential book to read for all in-house counsel and business leaders, particularly CEOs."
-Frank Blake, Chairman and CEO, The Home Depot
"Ugo Draetta draws on his rich and distinguished career at the intersection of law, business, leadership, academia and public service to produce a straightforward, seminal guidebook to the role of in-house corporate counsel. The insights, guidance and advice that he presents apply universally regardless of one's jurisdiction. As he cogently observes, in our highly inter-connected world of global business and commerce, the distinctions among us diminish daily as the principles applicable to those called to counsel global enterprises converge. Dr. Draetta pioneered in guiding his corporate clients through the relentless and rapid changes encountered by companies struggling to adapt profitably to the growing complexities of global business. His experiences uniquely position him to provide this guide to CEOs and in-house lawyers who will follow this pioneer as this process of globalization continues to unfold. This book should be required reading for every new CEO and for every lawyer who is offered the opportunity to join a company or business as an in-house counsel, regardless of the extent of their experience."
-J. Keith Morgan, Senior Vice President & General Counsel, GE Capital
"This is terrific. I use it as 'assigned reading' for new lawyers and new CEOs at Siemens."
-Peter Solmssen, Member of the Managing Board and General Counsel, Siemens AG
"Ugo Draetta provides an insightful look at the role of in-house counsel, particularly in the increasingly important international arena. This book is a great resource for lawyers contemplating an in-house legal role, as well as senior business executives who wish to maximize the value added by their legal departments. Ugo Draetta provides a concise and thoughtful view of the challenges faced by in-house lawyers, as well as successful strategies for problem solving and career development."
-Jay Clemens, Senior Vice President and Deputy General Counsel, eBay Inc.
"Professor Draetta has served as an invaluable advisor to scores of experienced counsel in major multinational corporations. He has a well-seasoned appreciation for the relationship between business leaders and their lawyers and direct experience with practical ways in which advice is most effectively provided."
-Mark G. Califano, SVP & Managing Counsel, Litigation, American Express