😷 The year of GCs becoming chief health officers 

In the year 2019, people used to have jobs that often involved going to an office and duties that were obvious from the title. That is not the case in 2020, especially for GCs. 

  • GCs had to become more versatile: Even before the pandemic, GCs had a crazy amount of variation at their jobs, completing technical legal work while discussing high-level company plans with CEOs and board members. But a new survey indicates that GCs saw their roles expand even further. 

  • From pandemic prep to diversity chiefs: The data, from FTI Consulting, is based on in-depth interviews with 31 GCs of Fortune 1000 companies. FTI found that 84% of GCs had essentially become chief health officers, tackling the challenge of assessing policies that strike a balance between business productivity and health. They were also shouldering some of the burden for ensuring better inclusion and diversity strategies at their companies. 

  • GCs were sending out lots of legal work: Nearly all of the GCs surveyed said they were hiring outside firms and other services (like Lawtrades) for completing more legal work. 

The main takeaway was that things have been pretty tough    

Being overworked was a common theme. The respondents noted their roles had changed or intensified. For some it was new work from tackling health and safety; for others it was making Covid-19 related plans or preparing for an expected increase in litigation when the pandemic ends.

The Verdict 

There was a silver lining in the survey. Perhaps because of the advent of a virtual workspace, the share of GCs who considered their company and their legal department to be tech savvy had increased by 16 percentage points compared to a year ago.