February 27, 2023

Nearly 200 in-house counsels attended the Legal 500 GC Summit held recently in Makati City with DivinaLaw as headline sponsor. The complexities of legal technology, the evolving mergers and acquisitions (M&A) landscape, sustainable financing, capital markets, data protection and cybersecurity, crisis management, and fintech were discussed during the event.

DivinaLaw Partner Atty. Jay-r C. Ipac moderated the panel discussion on “Digitization, Disruption, and the Legal Department of the Future.” He was joined by speakers Atty. Glenn Sotto of TransUnion, Atty. Jose Amelito Sutton Belarmino II of Marriott International, Atty. Kristian Nico Calugay Acosta of Golden ABC, and Atty. Dawn Chua of Cognizant Technology Solutions.

When asked by Atty. Ipac to share his thoughts on the future of the legal department as the world moves towards greater digitization, Atty. Belarmino encouraged his fellow in-house counsels not to be digital laggards but become digital leaders.

“Individually, we have to educate ourselves because we’re entering a world where probably technology is going to rule our lives more. So, we have to keep abreast, not just of the legal, regulatory side but also the technical side.”

Senior Partner Atty. Estrella C. Elamparo, pioneer of the DivinaLaw’s Risk and Crisis Management practice group, shared helpful tips for creating a crisis management plan.

“When a crisis happens, who should be the lead crisis manager? This is often the first question asked of me,” said Atty. Elamparo. “Should it be us, the lawyers? Should we call our PR experts or corporate communicators? Or is it neither?”

“Our position is: we lawyers are already the first ones called when there is a crisis. Lawyers are perceived as the firefighters in the organization. The ideal scenario is for the lawyers to be able to work seamlessly with corporate communicators in dealing with the crisis. Neither of them should drive the bus. The CEO should be driving the bus, but the lawyer and the corporate communicator should be sitting alongside the CEO and advising him or her every step of the way.”

The Legal 500 is the world’s leading legal directory. It is published by UK-based company Legalease Ltd., a global legal research and publishing company.