Non-executive directorship: The next step?

Author Nikki Newton
March 16, 2023

Are you thinking about becoming a non-executive director?

We are often asked if a non-executive directorship is a logical next step in one’s career. For Lawyers, a non-executive director (NED) role can be a valuable opportunity to utilise your legal expertise and know-how in a board setting and enhance your own business acumen and credentials. 

Here are some tips on how to approach an NED role as a lawyer:

  • Understand the role: The role of an NED is to provide an independent perspective and oversight to the board of directors. As a lawyer, you may be well-equipped to provide valuable insight on legal matters, but it’s important to also understand the broader responsibilities of the role.
  • Network: Building a strong network can be key to securing an NED role. Attend industry events and professional organizations, and cultivate relationships with other board members and influential leaders in your field.
  • Develop business acumen: While legal expertise is important, NEDs are also expected to have a strong understanding of the business and its operations. Develop your business acumen by staying up-to-date on industry trends, attending industry conferences, and seeking out opportunities to take on leadership roles outside of the legal department.
  • Gain relevant experience: Board positions are typically reserved for experienced professionals, so it’s important to gain relevant experience before pursuing an NED role. Look for opportunities to serve on boards of non-profit organizations or community groups to gain experience in governance and leadership.
  • Be prepared for the interview process: NED roles are often highly competitive, so it’s important to be well-prepared for the interview process. Research the company and its board members, review financial statements and other relevant documents, and be prepared to answer questions about your qualifications, experience, and approach to governance.
  • Consider a specialist role: Depending on your legal expertise, you may also consider pursuing a specialist NED role, such as a chair of the audit committee or a member of the remuneration committee.

Overall, taking on an NED role as a lawyer can be a valuable opportunity to expand your career and leverage your legal expertise in a new context. By developing your business acumen, building a strong network, and gaining relevant experience, you can position yourself for success in the boardroom.

For more information or for a confidential discussion on your next steps, please reach out to your local Taylor Root In-house team, or fill in the contact form below, and one of our team members will contact you directly.

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