corporate law; corporate lawyers; ethics


This Essay builds upon the business-lawyer value-creation literature by analyzing the contemporary CLO and argues for an enhanced CLO role. It emphasizes the sometimes ignored and underemphasized demand-side considerations involved in the provision of legal services. These demand- side considerations will help to predict the competencies and expanded skill sets CLOs will need to navigate the challenging contemporary business environment. Part I of this Essay discusses CLOs’ sophisticated purchasing competencies. It explores how CLOs have revolutionized legal service provision by addressing problems stemming from information asymmetries between the client corporation and external legal service providers. Part II examines how the contemporary CLO role is more financially focused, placing greater demands on legal departments to articulate their value to corporate managers. Part III explores the importance of global enterprise risk management and the impact CLOs can have in capturing and preserving economic value. Part IV addresses potential challenges and concerns related to the proposed enhanced CLO role. The Essay concludes that the contemporary business environment facing global companies requires an enhanced CLO role reflecting a broader range of competencies. As a matter of prediction and aspiration, it maps out key competencies contemporary CLOs should possess.