Someone joining as a General Counsel from BigLaw might be a little perplexed by some of this advice. I can hear them thinking: surely it is obvious that all lawyers should report to the GC? Yes, but you'd be surprised how common it is to start work at a large employer as their GC and find a few lawyers already in-situ scattered around the business but reporting to heads of department in the business division they are working in. It's also fairly usual to find resistance to getting them to report to you! After all, they might have hoped to become the GC themselves. It is only human to feel your nose has been put out of joint by the arrival of a new GC. It is also predictable that there will be entrenched relationships between people in the business and some external law firms. Your new colleagues may not necessarily want to relinquish their control over that external relationship. However, you do need to get all external lawyers under your management, for obvious reasons.
I like this article by Marc E Manly; it's a US article but the comments are equally applicable to UK companies. Worth reading!
A college classmate recently took a position as general counsel of a company after a long career with a prominent law firm. Having done the same more than a decade ago, I offered to provide some pointers. He was an experienced lawyer, but he was new to the role of general counsel. Assuming that some of this could be helpful to others, I converted my notes into the following observations. They were aimed at public companies with boards and public reporting obligations, but some of the thoughts might be of relevance in other settings as well.