Every CEO Needs a Great General Counsel
I really encourage all CEOs and entrepreneurs to read this. I have known a whole series of top-end CEOs, entrepreneurs, bankers, and others who ended up in profound legal crisis by total surprise.
A surprisingly high % of white collar criminal prosecutions are people who started with good intent, vs intent to break the law. After the fact they all get painted as bad people — but they generally viewed themselves as good people, as did many others, to start. Which means: Good people with good intent in top business roles must be very careful and frankly a little paranoid about white collar law.
The kicker is that CEOs and entrepreneurs cannot blindly trust even top accounting & law firms. Must verify everything yourself to be safe. Every CEO needs a top-end General Counsel even if only to stay out of jail — and GC should always report directly to the CEO.
I routinely try to explain this to new CEOs. Often doubted, sometimes ignored. Risk significantly higher than many think. Worries me a lot. Hopefully goes without saying that great outside lawyer can play same role as great General Counsel. But pick very carefully!