Fred Krebs

Fred Krebs

Fred Krebs, is a senior adviser to the Association of Corporate Counsel, a strategic adviser to Clearspire, and an adjunct professor at Georgetown University Law School. He served as president of ACC from 1991-2011. He can be reached at and follow him on Twitter @FrederickJKrebs.

Column: In-house Coach
Monday, 29 December 2014 08:00

Ethical lawyering in the 21st century

b_150_0_16777215_00___images_stories_01-INHOUSE_Standard_photos_fred_krebs.jpg“. . . [T]he legal profession is in a period of stress and transition; its economic models are under duress; the concepts of its professional uniqueness are narrow and outdated; and, as a result, its ethical imperatives are weakened and their sources ill-defined.”
b_150_0_16777215_00___images_stories_01-INHOUSE_Standard_photos_fred_krebs_2014.jpgLawyers leave private practice and go in-house for many reasons.
Monday, 18 August 2014 08:00

Talk less, listen more

b_150_0_16777215_00___images_stories_01-INHOUSE_Standard_photos_fred_krebs.jpgMuch has been written about the skills and competencies necessary to be a successful general counsel. These include legal, business, leadership, and interpersonal skills as well as independence, judgment, integrity, and problem solving ability. Commentators also frequently cite financial and technology competencies as being important.
b_150_0_16777215_00___images_stories_01-INHOUSE_Standard_photos_fred_krebs.jpgI recently read a thoughtful open letter to general counsel and law firms written by Daniel Desjardins, general counsel of Bombardier Inc. Stated simply, this letter offers sound advice.
b_150_0_16777215_00___images_stories_01-INHOUSE_Standard_photos_fred_krebs.jpgRegular readers will know well the challenges facing today’s general counsel. After all, much has been written about them and, more significantly, you live them each day.
Monday, 17 February 2014 08:00

General counsel as innovators?

b_150_0_16777215_00___images_stories_01-INHOUSE_fredkrebs.jpgI closed my previous column about the ACC Report on skillsets for the future general counsel with the thought that general counsel have a significant opportunity to help lead corporate innovation.
Monday, 30 December 2013 08:00

Skill sets for the future general counsel

b_150_0_16777215_00___images_stories_01-INHOUSE_fredkrebs.jpgThe Association of Corporate Counsel recently released its first executive series report“Skills for the 21st Century General Counsel.” It contains a wealth of information useful to current GCs and those who aspire to that role. I had the pleasure and privilege of working on this project.

b_150_0_16777215_00___images_stories_01-INHOUSE_Standard_photos_fred_krebs.jpgThe increasingly global scope of the in-house practice came clearly into focus at the recent Association of Corporate Counsel Annual Meeting.  The 2,000 in-house counsel attending the conference included representatives from nearly 40 countries. The more than 130 exhibitors included vendors, law firms, and legal service providers from around the world.  And, many of the over 100 program sessions were specifically styled as providing “the global perspective.”  
Monday, 21 October 2013 08:00

So you want to teach law school

b_150_0_16777215_00___images_stories_01-INHOUSE_Standard_photos_fred_krebs.jpgIn a few days I leave for Los Angeles and the Association of Corporate Counsel Annual Meeting for which I organized a session for those interested in teaching at law school. The response to what was to be a small, informal breakfast conversation with a few ACC members who currently teach at their local law school has been incredible. We had to change rooms as we now have over 200 registrants for this early morning session that does not even offer CPD credit.
Monday, 16 September 2013 09:00

We are not quite perfect

b_150_0_16777215_00___images_stories_01-INHOUSE_Standard_photos_fred_krebs.jpgAs hard as it may be for some to believe, in-house counsel are not perfect! The legal media and blogosphere are filled with criticism of law firms and the legal profession by in-house counsel (and others) for their lack of business acumen, high costs, continued use of the billable hour, unsustainable business models, poor communication skills, and so on. You see less criticism of the in-house community and when you do it frequently addresses the failure to exercise fully their influence when dealing with law firms.
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