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Ethics and the in-house lawyer

In conjunction with Thomson Reuters please join us for a discussion about how ethics impacts on in-house lawyers and what this means in relation to their day-to-day job of advising their clients.

  • Event date: 03 March 2021 02:00 PM
  • Event type: Webinar
  • Duration: 1.5 hours
  • Provided by: Thomson Reuters and The Centre for Legal Leadership

In-house lawyers are subject to the ethical requirements of their professional bodies and their roles will often take them into areas that cover legal compliance and also, increasingly, business ethics. This can highlight important issues relating to the purpose and independence of the in-house lawyer.

In this discussion, we expect to explore a range of practical issues relevant to this important topic, including: -

  • What are legal ethics?
  • What do they mean in the context advising in-house clients, for example, where they don’t seek or accept your legal advice?
  • Isn’t ethics just about compliance?
  • What’s the lawyer’s role in relation to upholding the organisation’s ethical standards and policies?
  • What is independence and does it matter?
  • How to deal with ethical dilemmas.

Leading the discussion will be our guest presenters:

Frances Nash CB - Legal Director for the Department for Work and Pensions
Frances has spent the last year heavily engaged in advising on the response to the Coronavirus pandemic. A career civil service lawyer, Frances has spent many years advising government ministers, senior government officials and senior military personnel on the legality of their policies and proposals, and where necessary defending those policies in court, in Parliament and in public inquiries.

Before moving to DWP, Frances led the legal team at the Ministry of Defence for eight years, where she advised not only on military operations but also on major procurements and high-profile cases such as Al Sweady. She has also led legal teams in HMRC, Defra and the Cabinet Office, and spent two years on secondment to the Attorney General’s Office.

In addition to her day-to-day role, Frances sits on a number of departmental boards and committees, including the Investment Committee for DWP, and she acts as the senior sponsor for trainee lawyers within government. She has a strong interest in diversity and inclusion, and was instrumental in establishing a Disability Network for government lawyers. Outside work she is the trustee of an environmental charity.

Frances has an MA and an LLM in law and was appointed a Companion of the Bath (CB) in the Queen’s Birthday Honours in 2019.


Gavin Tagg - General Counsel, Adecco UK

Adecco Group is the leading global talent advisory and solutions company. Gavin oversees the UK & Ireland Group's Legal team to deliver the full spectrum of in-house legal services, both contentious and non-contentious, to all areas of Adecco's UK & Ireland recruitment business. Gavin also has responsibility for the Compliance function in the UK, including the business process, internal audit and health and safety divisions.

Gavin was called to the Bar in October 1995. Following completion of his pupillage and having gained his practising certificate, Gavin sought a role as an in-house lawyer and his first PQE role was within the recruitment industry in March 1999. He has worked within the recruitment industry ever since as an employed barrister.

Prior to joining Adecco in his current role as GC, Gavin worked as Group Legal Counsel for Spring Group plc, Interquest Group and Penna plc, and also undertook consultancy work via Virtual Law.

There will also be a Q&A session. The discussion will be moderated by Anthony Inglese and Paul Bentall of CLL. 

 This is the first of session in a series hosted with Thomson Reuters. 

Future webinars in the programme are as follows:

  • Structuring and resourcing your legal team – 19 May 2pm
  • Developing your career in-house – 30 June 2pm
  • Building your reputation and personal networks – 8 September 2pm
  • Leading and managing in-house legal teams – 19 October 2pm
  • New to in-house – what you need to know on day one – 23 November 2pm

Please contact us to register your interest.

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