Managing In-house Legal Services

Mark Prebble

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Sample chapter


Managing an in-house legal department can be hugely stimulating and fulfilling. It can also be very stressful and fatiguing. It is tremendously important to take time periodically to step back from the day-to-day activities, which seem so pressing, to chart a way forward for the delivery of legal services to your organisation and to really consider the development of your team’s – and your own -performance.

This is especially pertinent today, given the changes over recent years in:

  • How the law and in-house lawyers are perceived by business people.
  • The relationships between in-house lawyers and private practitioners and the ability to move between in-house and private practice.
  • Working practices.

Managing In-House Legal Services captures the vital elements of effective legal department management and provides a guide to the busy in-house practitioner who must balance caseload with the pressures of managing a department.

Who should read this report?

  • Heads of Legal department
  • In-house lawyers
  • Compliance officers
  • Company secretaries


1. Establishing an in-house team
2. Getting the balance right between in-house and external resources
3. Aligning legal services with business needs
4. Supporting the compliance effort
5. Staffing the legal service
6. Essential elements for performance
7. Developing the in-house team
8. Raising legal awareness
9. Working well with external advisers
10. What next?

The authors

Mark Prebble
During his 21 years as an employed in-house lawyer, Mark worked for ICI and The BOC Group plc in the UK, and Biogen and SGS in Switzerland. He held the positions of General Counsel at SGS and Group Legal Adviser at The BOC Group plc. In 1998 he set up Lawyers in Business, an organisation dedicated to developing, coaching and supporting in-house lawyers and promoting more effective use of legal services by businesses.

Contributions from

Richard Norman
As an international business lawyer, Richard has worked in Europe, Asia and America for various multinational companies. He held the position of Vice President, Legal and Corporate Affairs for Dell Inc. from 1993 to 2006. He joined Dell from Tektronix, Inc. where he was European Legal Counsel based in Switzerland. Previously he worked for Hoover plc and Grand Metropolitan plc. Richard is a consultant with Lawyers in Business.


Thorogood legal reports can be used for continuing professional development as distance learning education.

Certificate of completion

Upon reading this publication participants are invited to undertake a final assessment in the form of an on-line multiple choice paper. Upon passing, a certificate of completion will be made available to you, which can be included as part of your CPD requirements should you consider it relevant to your professional development needs.