Europe’s first university business programme for general counsels

In co-operation with the knowledge network General Counsel Netherlands (GCN), Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University (RSM) is starting a part-time English-language business programme in autumn 2015, developed especially for general counsels (GCs) and for ambitious in-house lawyers with end responsibility: the internationally oriented General Counsel Executive Programme.

The number of GCs in Europe is increasing rapidly; the role is no longer restricted to large multi-nationals. A GC’s role has also changed enormously in just a few years. This demands that lawyers update their knowledge and skills and, according to the large-scale General Counsel NL Benchmark Research 2014, this is something that GCs do indeed need. That is why RSM and GCN joined forces to offer Europe’s first customised executive programme at university level.

Top level management

Instead of mainly contractual work, GCs generally work as proactive managers who – in addition to managing a department – are responsible for a broad range of tasks, including legal, compliance, governance, fraud, and privacy and reputation management. The role is also shifting more towards the top level, for example as advisor to the board. Technological developments and other innovations, globalisation and increased decision-making tempo also significantly influence how GCs operate now and in the future.

The General Counsel Executive Programme focuses on:

  • business: strategic management, corporate development & growth and reputation management;
  • general counsel and legal: law department management and corporate governance & compliance;
  • personal development: leadership & personal effectiveness.

The study programme is spread over 18 months and includes:

  • 1.5 day kick-off;
  • six modules of three days each;
  • a study trip to Silicon Valley, USA to discover the latest innovations and technology for GCs;
  • intensive support, including in formulating the GC’s personal strategic decision plan, which the GC can start using straight away.

The information session is being held on Friday 19 June 2015 from 16:00 to 17:30 on the RSM campus in Rotterdam. Registration via

More information about the post-doctoral general counsel programme is available in the brochure or can be obtained via:

More information

General Counsel Netherlands (GCN)

GCN is the only knowledge network in the Netherlands run specifically for in-house lawyers who have end responsibility. The network is exclusively open to those with end responsibility: their most important challenges are not of a purely legal, but often also of a managerial nature. The main goals are to become acquainted with and share knowledge with other GCs, particularly about the challenges of the era, such as the influence of technology and how a GC can further professionalise his or her department. This involves studying and learning from international trends.

Various activities are organised, including the General Counsel NL Annual Congress, General Counsel NL Theme Meetings and General Counsel NL Peer Support Meetings. Online newsletters are published throughout the year exclusively for General Counsel. There is also the General Counsel NL Magazine, the General Counsel NL Benchmark Research and the General Counsel NL Award.

Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University (RSM)

RSM is a top tier European business school and ranked among the top three for research. RSM provides ground-breaking research and education furthering excellence in all aspects of management and is based in the international port city of Rotterdam – a vital nexus of business, logistics and trade. RSM’s primary focus is on developing business leaders with international careers who carry their innovative mindset into a sustainable future thanks to a first-class range of bachelor, master, MBA, PhD and executive programmes. RSM also has offices in the Amsterdam Zuidas business district and in Taipei, Taiwan.  

For more information on RSM or on this release, please contact Marianne Schouten, Media & Public Relations Manager for RSM, on +31 10 408 2877 or by email at

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