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Professional Values and Corporate Lawyers

Professional Values and Corporate Lawyers (Program)

Steven Vaughan, University of Birmingham (UK) (Moderator); Joan Loughrey, University of Leeds (UK); Susan Fortney, Texas A&M University (US); Suzanne Le Mire, University of Adelaide (Australia); and Richard Moorhead, University College London (UK)

Professional Values and Corporate Lawyers 

A suite of recent corporate scandals, the rising role and importance of the in house lawyer, and revived regulatory interest in notions of professionalism make this an ideal time to question the values of corporate lawyers working for private firms and for employer organizations. In this program, organized by Joan Loughrey and Steven Vaughan, we offer insights from the UK, Australia and the US.

In her paper, Joan Loughrey will examine problems inherent in meta-regulating large law firms-that is, in relying on firms to promote ethical compliance through ethical infrastructures; Susan Fortney will also speak on "Ethical Conduct and Organizational Structures, Systems, and Culture in Law Firms?"; Steven Vaughan draws on interviews with 133 transactional lawyers, compliance officers and risk officers across 33 of the top 200 English law firms to question how ethical those lawyers are, and whether they have in place the appropriate infrastructures to help them recognize and manage ethical issues.

Suzanne le Mire focuses on the regulation and reality of lawyers as corporate gatekeepers. Richard Moorhead’s paper is linked to his current ‘Ethical Leadership’ project. This explores the potential for in-house lawyers to act as ethical leaders, and is based on a series of interviews, ‘town hall’ focus groups and an online survey with c.500 UK inside counsel.

View other papers and programs within this theme.