In the latest podcast episode, Crafty Counsel’s Founder, Ben White, is joined by Jordan Breslow, a seasoned former General Counsel, whose expert advice and timely intervention saved his CEO from potential jail time.
Jordan started his legal career in 1980 at Caldecott, Phillips & Stewart. With over 40 years of experience, Jordan’s career has taken many twists and turns including General Counsel at Etsy, Lecturer at Berkeley Law and General Counsel at Opsware Inc until it was bought by Hewlett-Packard in 2007. Truly, Jordan has lived and played an important role in the flowering of innovation and tech in California’s ecosystem in the past decades.
This conversation takes a focused look at Jordan’s time with software company, Opsware, in the early 2000s. During which Jordan played a role in preventing his CEO and one of the most important venture capitalists, Ben Horowitz, from facing prison.
One of the key points highlighted is the need for clear and open communication between General Counsel and CEO. However, Jordan believes this goes beyond reporting lines. It does not matter who the General Counsel reports into – they still need that open line of communication with the CEO. Jordan emphasises the significance of building a culture grounded in transparency where candid discussions can take place without hesitation. Reflecting on his experience with Ben at Opsware, Jordan emphasises how the culture Ben had built allowed him to say “no” and challenge when necessary.
The conversation also touches upon the evolving role of General Counsel amidst the rapidly changing legal landscape. Jordan speaks about the increasing expectations placed upon in-house legal professionals, as they are now expected to possess not only legal knowledge but also a strong understanding of business strategy and sense of commerciality. Jordan highlights the need for General Counsel to be versatile, adaptable, and forward-thinking in their approach to navigating the intricacies of providing legal advice.
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Additional content you may be interested in:
- Pav Gill: Whistleblowing After Uncovering Widespread Fraud at Wirecard
- How is the role of General Counsel changing?
- Professor Richard Moorhead: Lessons For In-House Legal From Post Office and RICS Scandals
- 10 tips for becoming an in-house lawyer
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