Rarely a day goes by without our reference staff receiving at least one request for general counsel information. The likelihood and ease of success of locating this information depends on the company type, size and location. For publicly-traded U.S. (and many Canadian or U.K.) companies, a visit to the Corporate Governance section of the company’s web site is usually all that is required. However, private and non-U.S. companies are another matter altogether.
Here is a list of resources that I typically consult in the course of my research for general counsel information:
1. Corporate web sites, generally on the “Investor Relations” web page under “Corporate Governance.”
2. Hoovers - http://www.hoovers.com - The “Key People” portion of company reports.
3. The Leadership Directory’s Corporate Yellowbook - General Counsel information is often included in the Officers and Management portion of a company profile.
4. Directory of Corporate Counsel - currently available on Lexis.
5. West Legal Directory - Corporate Counsel (WLD-CORPCO).
6. Corporate Representation (“Who Counsels Who”), available through Incisive Legal Intelligence (formerly American Lawyer Media). A few of the firms are designated as “Company Counsel” in the “Type of Representation” field.
7. SEC Filings via http://www.sec.gov - On occasion, a full text search through company filings for the term “counsel” or “general counsel” will bear fruit. However, this is a very hit-or-miss method.
8. Westlaw Business http://business.westlaw.com - A more sophisticated platform for searching SEC filings for the term “counsel” or “general counsel.”
9. State business registrations/filings - a growing number of states are offering electronic access to images of business entity filings. You may encounter filings by or mentioning in-house counsel.
10. News - press releases and articles that mention hirings, promotions or statements made by general counsel.
What resources do you use to find general counsel information?
Contributed by Michele Gernhardt.