More than 10,000 Canadians received a medically-assisted death in 2021: report
Quebec Superior Court suspends Bill 96’s translation requirement until constitutionality determined
The Ontario government has given Maggie an ultimatum: the disabled teen can lose her funding or her independence
FBI took 11 sets of classified material from Trump’s Mar-a-Lago home while investigating possible Espionage Act violations (US)
Ontario class action settlement reclassifies volunteers as employees, setting new precedent
Availability of Judicial Review in SABS Disputes
Are masking policies still valid?
Justice Canada releases commission report on impact of lack of legal aid in family law disputes
Harmonized sales tax part of maximum amount of attendant care benefits owed by insurer: court
New rules coming next month to help Canadians with cancelled and delayed flights
Stephen King set to testify for govt in books merger trial (US)
New law program in Quebec to begin next fall, a first in 50 years
The Impact of the Lack of Legal Aid in Family Law Cases
SCC rules that when someone is required by their partner to wear a condom but do not, they could be guilty of sexual assault.
Big Plastic suing feds over single-use ban — again
Tim Hortons offers coffee and doughnut as proposed settlement in class action lawsuit
The SCC has refused to hear the appeal to declare the renewal of the state of health emergency by the Quebec government invalid
Federal privacy commissioner investigating controversial ArriveCAN app
Kraken, a U.S. Crypto Exchange, Is Suspected of Violating Sanctions (US)
Ontario court certifies class action on former patients’ anxiety from notice of risk of infection
The stakes couldn’t be higher as Canada’s top court decides whether to hear climate class action lawsuit
Professor Barnali Choudhury selected by EU as trade and sustainable development expert
The Supreme Court decision on the ‘Ghomeshi’ amendments will help sexual assault victims access justice
AFN Reaches $20 B Final Settlement Agreement to Compensate First Nations Children and Families

Women made up 49% of Fortune 500 general counsel appointments in 2021 (US)

Drive by major US corporates to boost diversity bearing fruit as the remit of GCs also broadens, research finds.

PHOTO: Shutterstock
The gender balance of general counsel appointments at US Fortune 500 companies reached near parity for the first time last year when 49% of the 59 new GCs unveiled were women.

The gender balance of general counsel appointments at US Fortune 500 companies reached near parity for the first time last year when 49% of the 59 new GCs unveiled were women.

That near 50/50 balance compared to 42% of the 2020 appointments being female, up from just 28% in 2019, according to the Annual Fortune 500 General Counsel Report by leadership advisory and search firm Russell Reynolds. 

The study also highlighted increased churn among top GCs – caused in part by Covid-19 generated pressures – as well as a broadening of their remits with risk management and ESG among additional responsibilities being placed on their shoulders.

The ethnic diversity of the GCs has also increased significantly over the last three years, the report’s analysis shows, accounting for 34% of the 2021 appointments, compared to a figure of 24% for all appointments made from 2019 onwards.

‘There is little doubt that this is the result of renewed energy and pressure for progress towards social justice, but also efforts by organisations to use every GC succession as an opportunity to search for a diverse slate of legal talent,’ the report states.

It predicted the trend would increase over the next year thanks to the ‘current cultural moment as well as a strong pipeline of seasoned female in-house legal executives built over many years’. 

The growing diversity of the Fortune 500 GCs looks set to increase pressure on their legal advisers to keep pace, helped by initiatives like the Diversity Lab’s Midsize Mansfield Rule Certification programme, which recently announced that 26 law firms had completed an 18-month pilot.

Meanwhile, the total number of new GC appointments also increased to 59 – up from 52 in 2020 –  with the report’s authors putting the churn down to ‘evolving business models and new demands on leaders’ accelerated by the Covid-19 pandemic.

‘Between this business transformation, the ever-evolving regulatory environment and executives taking stock of work and life priorities, many GCs left their positions,’ the report states.

The report also highlights an expansion of the remit of general counsel as companies sought to retain their best lawyers. It placed corporate secretary, compliance and privacy in the usually included list of additional responsibilities, with regulatory and government affairs, employee health & safety, corporate and public affairs, risk management and sustainability in the often included category.

“As the war for talent continues and the market becomes increasingly competitive, companies looking to attract and retain best in class GCs are expanding the role’s remit to include regulatory and government affairs, risk management, ESG and other areas of responsibility,” the report said. 

The findings chimed with the 2022 Chief Legal Officers Survey, published by the Association of Corporate Counsel in partnership with Exterro in February, which found that CLOs are being tasked with the oversight of more functional areas of the business in 2022 than in 2020, including ESG (plus 9%), public and corporate affairs (plus 5%), compliance (plus 4%) and risk (plus 4%).


Want direct access to the latest LITN content?

Stay in the loop ➞ Subscribe to LITN instant notifications.
Receive the latest content delivered directly to your device.
Unsubscribe at anytime.

Latest News


Join the LITN Newsletter ➞ the latest news delivered to your inbox. Unsubscribe at any time.


Instagram Feed