General Counsel Job Description Template

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General Counsel Job Description Template

What is a General Counsel?

General Counsels are responsible for overseeing the legal aspects of a company, providing legal advice to executives, ensuring compliance with laws and regulations, and managing the company's legal team. They play a crucial role in risk management and strategic decision-making.

A Juris Doctor (JD) degree from an accredited law school is typically required. Extensive experience in corporate law and strong leadership skills are also essential.

General Counsel Job Description Template

Job Brief

We are looking for an excellent General Counsel to add value to and be the “backbone” of our business. You will ensure that company operates within the law at all times, offer counsel on legal issues, create an effective guardian of the organisation and facilitate business strategies development. The successful candidate will be able to ensure legal compliance and limit risk exposure.


  • Provide expert and strategic legal advice to management
  • Set internal governance policies and manage the impact of external factors
  • Evaluate and weigh multiple inputs and impacts of any decision or course of action
  • Anticipate issues and estimate risks strategically
  • Identify proactive solutions that will eliminate or mitigate risks
  • Base your decision making process on ethics and integrity
  • Create associations of trust and respect with key stakeholders
  • Deal with external parties (regulators, external counsel, politicians, clients)
  • Attract, develop, direct, motivate and drive performance from team
  • Draft agreements that minimize risks and maximize legal rights
  • Meet legal objectives
  • Deal with complex, significant matters that cut across legal and related areas
  • Keep abreast of legislative changes


  • Proven general counseling experience in business environment
  • Overall broad legal knowledge (corporate law, litigations, labor law, etc)
  • In-depth understanding of how legal issues affect organisations
  • Ability to develop legal strategy and objectives
  • Well-versed in how business operate with financial acumen
  • High degree of professional ethics, integrity and gravitas
  • Excellent judgement and analytical skills
  • First class interpersonal and communication skills
  • Ability to anticipate legal issues or risks and to “see around the corner”
  • BSc degree in Law or J.D. degree
  • MA or BSc in Business Administration will be considered an asset

What does General Counsel do?

A General Counsel is responsible for managing the legal affairs of an organization. On a day-to-day basis, their responsibilities can include:

  1. Providing legal advice: The General Counsel provides advice and guidance to the organization's executive team, managers, and employees on legal matters. They review contracts, agreements, and other legal documents to ensure compliance and minimize legal risk.

  2. Managing legal issues and disputes: The General Counsel identifies and addresses legal issues faced by the organization. They oversee or coordinate the organization's legal representation in disputes, litigation, and regulatory matters. This includes working with external law firms when necessary.

  3. Compliance with laws and regulations: General Counsels ensure that the organization complies with all applicable laws and regulations. They monitor and interpret changes in legislation, propose policies and procedures to ensure compliance, and train employees on legal and compliance matters.

  4. Risk management: General Counsels identify and assess legal risks to the organization and develop strategies to mitigate those risks. They work with other departments to implement controls and processes to minimize legal exposure.

  5. Contract management: They review and negotiate contracts, agreements, and other legal documents on behalf of the organization. This includes working with other departments to ensure that contractual terms and conditions align with the organization's objectives and legal requirements.

  6. Corporate governance and regulatory compliance: General Counsels advise on corporate governance matters, including board meetings, director duties, and compliance with relevant regulations and reporting requirements. They also ensure compliance with corporate policies and procedures.

  7. Employment matters: They provide guidance on employment-related legal issues such as hiring, terminations, employee contracts, and policies. General Counsels may also oversee the organization's response to employment-related claims.

  8. Intellectual property: General Counsels identify, protect, and manage the organization's intellectual property rights, including trademarks, copyrights, patents, and trade secrets.

  9. External relations: They may represent the organization in dealings with external stakeholders such as government agencies, regulators, industry associations, and legal professionals.

  10. Strategic planning: General Counsels participate in the organization's strategic planning process, providing input from a legal and risk management perspective. They contribute to the development and implementation of policies and procedures that align with the organization's objectives.

It's important to note that specific responsibilities can vary depending on the size, industry, and complexity of the organization.

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