Is it okay for corporate departments such as purchasing, employee benefits, risk management and even internal audit to report directly to the company's Corporate Legal Department? I seem to recall the Corporate Legal Department is obligated legally or ethically to not have operational, financial or other general corporate departments report to them for independence reasons such as conflicts with representing a department or empolyee versus representing the company. Any thoughts on this or where to research? Thanks.
I’m not familiar with any legal or ethical constraints on the general counsel that would forbid them from managing those functions. I do know some companies where internal audit, security and compliance functions do report to the general counsel (though I have to admit I don’t agree with that reporting structure for internal audit). I’ve met some pretty business-savvy corporate attorneys in my career, but as a practical matter, I can’t imagine how the typical general counsel has the background to oversee the departments you mentioned. I just don’t see how they fit the GC’s mandate.