In-house lawyer: The Italian jobs
It is a warm spring afternoon in Rome. A group of corporate counsel have gathered for lunch at Gusto, a high-concept Asian fusion restaurant just blocks from the fashionable Via Condotti. At first, it looks like a typical gathering of Italian lawyers. The men wear dark suits; the women, tasteful dresses. They greet each other formally with handshakes and they are all carrying BlackBerrys, pulling them out occasionally to discreetly scan for new email. As the meal proceeds, the lawyers address each other with the familiar tu, even though they are not close friends - something that would have been unthinkable not so long ago. And they flip easily between English and Italian, the choice of language dependent on what they want to say.They talk about their peers in other European countries, their business trips to remote former Soviet republics, and their difficulties with the Sarbanes-Oxley Act in the US. Meet the new breed of Italian in-house lawyer. Once, lawyers working in companies were either non-existent or lonely functionaries who stuck around the office to sign the occasional contract. Today, however, the in-house Bar in Italy is populated by a cadre of young, well-educated, highly-skilled, globally-oriented professionals.
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