The composition of the modern corporate board has evolved into a complex and sophisticated governing body that places increasing demands on the lawyers. In the post-Enron and Sarbanes-Oxley world, corporate boards continue to be composed of directors with their own myriad personal and business agendas. These boards, however, have also become more mindful and responsive to watchdog agencies and have a renewed focus on board independence, financial expertise and diversity.

There is, therefore, an increased need for adaptable, experienced and informed lawyers — both in-house as well as outside a given company — to counsel the board and its members on these and other controversial issues. The best practices for doing so, including those addressing how to better understand the client board’s structure, culture and goals, as well as the board member’s personal concerns, is the subject of this piece.

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