SOURCE: BarkerGilmore


May 12, 2015 08:30 ET

Study Exposes General Counsel Succession Planning Expectations

ROCHESTER, NY--(Marketwired - May 12, 2015) - Today's General Counsel are being lauded for their increasingly strategic and pragmatic contributions in the C-suite and boardroom. In turn, these contributions are strengthening their value as members of the executive team, according to the results of an exclusive study.

The study, "GCs: Adding Value to the C-Suite," was conducted by executive search firm BarkerGilmore and NYSE Governance Services, and studied CEOs and directors of publicly traded companies nationwide.

"CEOs and board members increasingly expect the General Counsel to add value as a leader in the C-Suite and bring keen perspectives on company issues, especially as the regulatory environment expands and competition in the market increases," said Robert Barker, Managing Partner at BarkerGilmore.

BarkerGilmore Managing Partner John Gilmore noted that, "Owing to the elevated importance and influence of the GC on executive teams, there is increasing pressure to have a GC succession plan prepared and readied. As awareness has grown, the efforts and resources being devoted to succession planning have also been amplified."

The study found that while 86 percent of the participating CEOs and directors believe that General Counsel succession planning was a priority, only 40 percent of those companies have a formal succession plan in place. These percentages illustrate the many challenges companies face in identifying, developing, and preparing internal talent for the General Counsel role.

Other key findings of the study include:

  • 90 percent of board members and CEOs expect internal GC succession candidates to be benchmarked against external talent
  • More than half of company directors believe having a General Counsel serving as an independent director on an outside board adds value to the company
  • Directors agree that their General Counsel would most benefit from additional expertise in cyber security, social media, and crisis management

To view the full study, visit

BarkerGilmore's legal recruiters specialize in a select range of assignments, specifically General Counsel and Chief Compliance Officers. They deliver exceptional candidates to Fortune 500 companies and successful mid-sized companies nationwide.