It was a hectic but fascinating time at Harvard Law School. Twenty-three Chief Legal Counsel from around the world (including Spain, Sweden, Holland, the United States, Canada, Brazil, Nigeria, the Philippines and Australia) attended the Leadership in Corporate Counsel programme. Attendees were the heads of legal divisions in some large corporations, including railways, airlines, luxury goods and financial institutions.
The structure of the course contained a mix of in-depth case studies and general lectures, based on the Socratic method. Preparation for the course was intense. The sessions were led for the most part by Professor Scott Westfahl and Professor David Wilkins. They covered five topics: Personal leadership, leading change, the changing global marketplace, motivation and development of professionals and leadership in crisis.
Dr Stephen Vaughan, lecturer at the Birmingham University Law School, organised the symposium, 'Corporate lawyers and corporate clients: Power, practice and privilege', attracting a number of speakers from the UK and US. The purpose of the symposium was to explore the relationships between corporate counsel and their clients, the changing role of counsel, lawyers' ethics, their independence and duties.
In my final two weeks away, I spent time in London meeting with my counterpart, the legal advisor in the Prime Minister's office, at No. 10 Downing St and talking to various senior officials both in and outside the Government Legal Department, formerly the Treasury Solicitor Office.