In a complex and competitive world, every successful business needs access to lawyers who can bring experience, commercial acumen and legal ability to bear on the various corporate, commercial, regulatory and taxation issues which affect them.
The role of a solicitor/lawyer is no longer limited to managing the legal risk associated with the business that they work within. Effective solicitors/lawyers now need to partner with the business, understand its issues and produce viable and tangible solutions that prove their worth to business. This poses a new challenge for companies and thus a Solicitor as a Non executive director is an ideal solution.
A Non Executive Director must be an effective and valuable stakeholder of a Company. The purpose of bringing in non-executives is to use their skills, knowledge and experience to help the company with strategy, performance, risk, resources, standards of conduct and the appointment and remuneration of executive directors. Typically, non-executives are utilised by companies where governance is an increasingly important issue, but such appointments can also be useful in family businesses where the directors are also the shareholders.
Solicitor as a Non Executive Director is misconceived as an expensive luxury. It should not be viewed as a cost or unnecessary expense of the company but as an investment and necessity rather than as luxury. Companies do require someone who can provide their specialist experience or know how and who can administer the company's strategies with a viewpoint that a director may have overlooked.
Apart from being highly experienced business professional, a solicitor's address books can unlock the doors to significant new clientele and a network of manufacturers and suppliers important to the particular industry. Moreover, a company benefits to a large extent by having a Solicitor on board and realizes their worth primarily due of the following factors:
1. Since they are committed to high standards of virtue and moral value, they are comfortable dealing with complexities and can bring significant outlook to the grey area between morality and the law. They not only bring on the table legal acumen but also commercial and transactional proficiency and competence.
2. They have ample of exposure to client's business challenges.
3. They have the aptitude to understand and absorb key information which benefits the company.
4. They contribute multiplicity and insight to boardroom debate and decision making.
5. Boards should not be limited to people with trade and commerce and finance experience only. Diversity of thought and background is equally important.
6. They are well placed to make well-informed decisions and judgments on range of matters from legal, regulatory, social obligations and consumer needs and benefits.
7. They have exigent and forensic mindset which every Company seeks.
8. Board directors have to steer the growing wave of regulation and administrative complexity. A solicitor on board is considered a boon for such situations.
9. They are dedicated to precision and fact based decision making.
10. They can absorb large amount of material and assimilate detail quickly.
11. Any company doesn't prefer relying on buying legal services on a 'need must 'basis when the want for legal perspective is most pressing.
12. They have the capacity to contribute to strategy and to tackle current and future opportunities and threats.
The appointment of a Solicitor as a Non Executive Director may not be a solution for all problems of the corporate, yet , a company at all times involves one who has clearness of thought, good judgment and germane experience. It sees the skills, potential and cerebral qualities which complement those of the existing directors.
In short, companies know that having a solicitor on board would unquestionably work as a determined move towards realization of excellence not only in terms of amplified income and returns but also in terms of uprightness for the laws of the nation, safeguarding of the interest of shareholders, creditors and employees of the company.