From practice for practice: Dr. Frank Kohls, Head of Legal Department IBM Switzerland,
Lead Labor Lawyer IBM Europe

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In our new In-house Top 5 section in the Labor Law Magazine, we will be presenting all the important and practice-oriented topics that are high on the agenda of leading labor lawyers in Germany and abroad. Since 2015, the core statement of this magazine has been: “From lawyers for companies.” In implementing this journalistic claim, it is helpful for all parties involved if external consultants actually know which questions move the client in-house. With the In-house Top 5, we would like to contribute further to improving transparency in the German legal market in the future, on both the demand and supply side, with companies, law firms, auditing firms and service providers. In-house Top 5 supplements the practice-oriented reporting introduced in the Labor Law Magazine four years ago. And because time is a factor (and of course, time is money), we have tried to make our reporting as succinct as possible.

The new In-house Top 5 column is launched in this ­issue by Dr. Frank Kohls, Head of Legal Department IBM ­Switzerland, Lead Labor Lawyer IBM Europe

  • Always act as a trusted advisor!
  • Any legal advice has to take the business environment into consideration. Pure formal legal advice that is not linked to the business’s needs has limited value. You have to understand your client’s needs.
  • Always concentrate on what you want to achieve in the end. Legal techniques and regulations are instruments to achieve your goal; they are not the goal itself. You should be focused on the result, not on the way to get there.
  • Working in an international company requires the willingness to understand cultural and legal differences between the environments in various countries. Try to free yourself from your own country-specific understanding: the issues to solve are often the same, but the techniques needed to solve them might be different.
  • Share knowledge with your internal clients, whether you are in-country or in an international position. This results in a better understanding of the challenges to be overcome.

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