Brexit remains at the centre of the UK’s political, economic and social debate and it is, without question, the single most significant change in our legal environment in a generation.
For private practice lawyers thinking about the transition to in-house, Brexit could be the moment. Law firms have an important role to play – but the real action will be inside institutions. This is a unique opportunity to be part of a major project environment that could be the platform for lawyers to transition technical skills to the in-house world, with the best and broadest visibility across an institution.
It affects every aspect of an institution’s activities – customer relationships, open positions, balance sheet, employees, structure, operations. It is not just a question of what to do, but how to do it – to deliver with the scale and pace which is going to be required while managing all the attendant risks and interdependencies.
Brexit will involve complex, challenging issues requiring strong senior management engagement. It could be the defining event of any legal career. An extraordinary project combined with the best seat in the house for future opportunities in the post-Brexit world.
For those already working in-house, this could be the opportunity to shift from a transactional role to managing change. Or perhaps the gaps created by the project present an opportunity to take on more responsibility and leadership in a business as usual role.
Careers are built, and reputations made, in the heat of battle. A truism perhaps but worth reflecting on. Whether it was a crisis, or a major deal or difficult case, most of us can point to the one or two events which made us the professionals we are. Lawyers in all positions should now be asking themselves: could that be Brexit for me? It may well be that remaining in a current position is the right decision for you but this is a chance to take a career-defining role at the forefront of history so take care to make it a deliberate choice.