Former lawyers heading FTSE 100 companies on the increase

Michael Bow
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PEOPLE with a legal background are rising through the ranks in blue chip company boardrooms and taking senior management roles, a report out yesterday said.

The number of chief executives with a legal background at FTSE 100 companies has increased since 2002 when there were just three. Today there are seven but some commentators say more needs to be done to encourage burgeoning legal talent to take the helm at companies in future.

“The influence of senior legal minds within the C-suite is growing,” Kathryn Britten, at KPMG, said. “However, there is still a gap in perception between the benefits that law can bring to strategic decision making and the actual involvement of lawyers at board level.”

The report, published by law firm Reed Smith and KPMG, also found a similar trend in the US, with the number of Fortune 100 chief executives with a legal background increasing from 10 to 17 over the past decade.

“There is a great opportunity for the legal profession to do more to foster these skills,” Reed Smith director Nigel Spencer said.