Corporate General Counsel, Legal and Company Secretary
interview wih Mr. Andalib Alavi
Director and General Counsel, Engro Corp.
What are your education and professional qualifications and work experience?
You are amongst the highly respected Chief Law Officers (CLOs) in the country. There is a perception that CLOs are ‘business persons’ providing legal services to their companies. How accurate is this description?
It is easy for the managers and executives to view in-house counsels as more than just advocates working for the company, which can be both a blessing and a curse. As a CLO, how do you balance between being an integral team-member of your organization and a useful provider of legal advice?
What in-house ethical considerations are particularly nettlesome? Can you provide our readers with some examples and satisfactory resolution of such issues?
In your career as an in-house counsel did you ever come across any conflicts of interest between your role as a member of the legal community and your position as a member of the leadership of a business?
In the post Sarbannes-Oxley world, Boards of the companies have been reinvigorated and realigned with the companies’ ultimate constituents – the shareholders. This development has also taken root in Pakistan. Consequently, what is the enlarged role of CLOs in balancing between the Board (and its committees), the Executives, and ultimately the Shareholders? How do you walk this tight-rope?
In-house counsels are expected to take a lead role in outsourcing transactions to outside counsels. What is the key to establishing a successful outsourcing relationship? What in your view are the important steps and considerations in identifying, selecting and negotiating a successful relationship?
How important is it for in-house teams to be strong on relationships, both with its in-house lawyers, as well as with external legal providers? What are your experiences in setting out a strategy and direction for your legal team? How important is mentoring your junior team members a part of the team-building exercise?
What are the important attributes, in your view, that a successful corporate legal officer must possess?
How has the recent economic downturn affected your in-house practice? What strategies have you adopted to maximize opportunities during this downturn?
The Company recently went through a major change, with the demerger of the fertilizer business and establishment of the holding company Engro Corporation Limited. What were the key learning points for you arising out of the demerger?
How has the demerger affected your role as General Counsel?
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