Legal Team Session – Strategy

Written by Paul Drop – Outside General Counsel

Strategy for Legal

Every now and then the strategy for the coming years is on the corporate agenda. The entire company is working on it. Also Legal. This is the time to look back, to reflect on the question: why do we exist as a legal department? To make plans and to determine that improvements are needed. The latter is good. Dissatisfaction, unrest, 'it grates'; This is all breeding ground for lasting change.



First back to the question: WHY is Legal there? Do you have the answer? Unfortunately, the day when Legal is no longer necessary has not yet arrived everywhere. And in the meantime, the perception of Legal is still often: the 'no-department', the 'rubber stamp' or 'a cost item'. It is my experience that Legal and therefore also in-house lawyers still regularly struggle with the question of whether they are allowed to be there and how they can gain influence. And not everyone manages to get past those questions. Yet it is important that Legal knows WHY it is there in the company. This not only contributes to the self-confidence of the Legal Team and the individual corporate lawyers, but also helps to express the importance of Legal internally. And the latter ultimately makes a bottom-line contribution for the company.



And if Legal knows why she is there: HOW do we do that? I recently spent a day working with a Legal Team on the question of HOW, but from a different perspective. This perspective assumes that legal knowledge is sufficiently available (and will be further trained). Furthermore, it presupposes a number of skills that must be present in a team of collaborating legal advisors. So not only knowledge of the law, but also skills in the field of communication, effective collaboration, management, process improvement and use and application of the right technology. Those skills are useful throughout the company.

Of course, not everyone is a fully developed expert in all these areas. But those skills are often represented in a team, and otherwise it is a reason for recruitment. Whether it is at starting level or whether there are experts in the team is not immediately important. Everyone is at least a beginner. Then there is a basis for speaking with experienced colleagues or even experts within the company about a specific issue that requires legal assistance. This way, the in-house lawyer can also determine when a problem is more than just legal and the in-house lawyer also knows when another specialist needs to be called in to solve it. Furthermore, every skill offers opportunities for improvement. A good analysis at personal and team level is then important. There are various useful tools available for this.


And now?

Legal has a unique position in a company: the legal department is better situated than external lawyers and is (potentially) located where a lot of interaction with the business takes place. In addition, the in-house lawyers (and the Legal Team) have a well-stocked toolbox of skills that provide solutions to legal problems within the context of the company's business and strategy. In short: in-house has so much more to offer. It is high time to market that.

Do you also want to get started with your Legal Team? I would love to work with you on our Legal Team Sessions. Contact us at: to set up the strategy of your Legal Team together!

About the usefulness of purchasing conditions for IT services

Written by Martijn Berk – Senior legal counsel – IT, data & technology

About the usefulness of purchasing conditions for IT services


Lawyers are expensive
There are a number of prejudices about lawyers. I am used to the temperature dropping by a few degrees as soon as I enter the meeting room. In my opinion, this is (of course) wrong, especially because I prefer to work constructively and keep the interests of both parties in mind.

A prejudice that I regularly encounter is that lawyers are expensive. Now you can argue that a good lawyer costs money and limits risks and saves money in the long term, but the fact remains that a lawyer costs money. And even with a reasonable hourly rate, costs can quickly add up, so a contract assessment takes at least a few hours. And I always advise against quickly drawing out the main points: after all, the danger (or the genius) always lies in the details.

To save legal costs, the entrepreneur who purchases an IT service often agrees to the (general) terms and conditions of the other party. The entrepreneur negotiates the price and delivery date himself and the conditions are signed unread.

Save by drawing up general purchasing conditions
However, there is a middle ground between a tailor-made assessment of an agreement on the one hand and signing it unread on the other, namely: by drawing up general purchasing conditions. General purchasing conditions (GPC) are the mirror image of the supplier's general terms and conditions. By using AIV yourself, in many cases it is not necessary to engage a lawyer.

As soon as you purchase a service, you send the AIV with the message that it applies to the possible agreement to be concluded. In many cases, the supplier - who wants to bring you in as a new customer - will agree to the AIV or make a counter-proposal on a number of items. And even if the supplier makes a counter-proposal, the involvement of a lawyer will be limited. If all goes well, your lawyer knows the set and can quickly assess whether the counterproposal is reasonable. And also in larger organizations, with their own buyers and lawyers, it pays to use AIV; If the supplier accepts the AIV, the buyer no longer needs to visit the legal department.

Two tips
Two more tips about drawing up and using General Purchasing Conditions:

1. First of all, it is important that the AIV you use matches the service or product you are purchasing. Larger organizations often have a set of AIV that are suitable for purchasing pens and copy paper. Attention is often also paid to staff who temporarily carry out work on location. But the purchase of an IT service (for example the implementation of a software package or the purchase of a SaaS service) differs materially from the purchase of pens and has specific areas of attention that you want to address in advance in your AIV. For example, you can consider recording process agreements if the supplier works according to the Agile methodology. You can also arrange how any errors in the software that come to light after acceptance are dealt with. Are these at the expense of the supplier or not?

2. Secondly, before you instruct your lawyer to draw up the AIV, it is important that you consider how one-sided (or not!) you want the conditions to be. If you choose to have a set of GTC drawn up, where all provisions are drafted in such a way that they are primarily to your advantage (for example, that the supplier is maximally liable for any damage, the supplier is responsible for any delay - even if caused by you has been caused - and that you have the option to terminate the contract for any minor shortcoming), it is likely that the supplier will not accept these conditions. Instead, the supplier is likely to make counter-proposals to many of these provisions and the intended result of time and cost savings will not be achieved. In some cases it may be legitimate to use one-sided conditions, but often a set of reasonable conditions gives a better result.

If you have any questions about this: I or the other senior legal counsel at House will of course be happy to help you draw up an appropriate AIV. Contact us at: to keep your legal costs within limits!

Moral ambition for corporate lawyers

Written by Maaike Roet – CEO & Founder House

The year 2024 seems to be (among other things) the year of 'moral ambition'. Moral ambition means something like 'acting on the basis of personal integrity and using your talent for something for which you want to be remembered later'. Now that this trend also fits in with House's mission with 'legal for tomorrow' and we think it is important to also include corporate lawyers, this blog is published today.


Social examples

Striking social examples of moral ambition are lawyer Bénédicte Ficq, who is suing directors of large companies for 'environmental crime', and journalist Rutger Bregman, who recently called on young talented lawyers and consultants in the Zuidas in the FD not to sell their talent to the highest bidder , but rather to use it to solve social problems. He calls that 'Moral ambition' and writes a book about it.


What is moral ambition?

Moral ambition goes beyond simply adhering to the law. It implies a profound awareness of the ethics that underlie the legal system. It is about striving for a higher standard of moral behavior than what is strictly legally required. Corporate lawyers with moral ambition recognize that their role in the company is not only about enforcing rules, but also about - perhaps even with the company - promoting fairness and ethical conduct in society.


Moral ambition in daily work: how?

You may now be thinking: 'big words and great goals to pursue', but I'm far too busy for that. Logical, but then I would like to remind you that as a corporate lawyer you also hold a responsible position. In my opinion, that requires some moral ambition. Moreover, it is not only about avoiding unethical behavior, but (and in my opinion much more) about actively pursuing justice and honesty in the (corporate legal) advice you provide. Here are some practical steps you can take today.

1- Integrate ethics into decision making
In any legal matter, it is important to integrate ethical considerations into the decision-making process. Don't just think about the legal aspects, but also consider the broader ethical implications for all parties involved.

2- Continuous professional development
Keep your knowledge of ethics and professional responsibility up to date. Take courses, read relevant literature and participate in ethical discussions to deepen and broaden your understanding. As part of your professional development, also consider doing volunteer work.

3- Take on a mentor role
For corporate lawyers with more experience, taking on a mentor role is invaluable. Sharing ethical insights and guidance contributes to the development of moral ambition among younger generations of corporate lawyers.



Moral ambition is not an optional extra for corporate lawyers in their daily work. In my opinion - and especially in this day and age - it is a necessary pillar for sustainable and ethical corporate legal work. By embracing moral ambition, corporate lawyers contribute to promoting justice, honesty and integrity. It is not only a professional obligation, but also an opportunity to have a lasting positive impact on society. Legal for tomorrow!

Why working on your leadership is just as important as working in your leadership and how to approach it

Written by Anouk Schaap - Conscious Leadership expert

Why working on your leadership is just as important as working in your leadership and how to approach it

Leadership is a profession in itself. It's a job next to your job. Leadership comes with great responsibility; everything you think, do or say has an impact with a 'ripple' effect. In both a positive and negative sense. Working on your leadership is crucial to ensure that you create a positive 'ripple' effect among the people you work with every day. As an expert in your field, working on your leadership will most likely not be a priority. In this blog we share the most important reason to work on your leadership and what the next steps are. Legal for tomorrow!

“You don't know what you don't know until you know it”

95% of the time your life is controlled by beliefs and habits programmed into the subconscious mind. The beliefs you have learned lead to daily thoughts from which your words and actions flow. Without having bad intentions, your belief system can have a negative impact on the people in your team or organization. You cannot change what you are not aware of, so it is very important to make the unconscious conscious and make changes from there. Holding a mirror up to yourself (or having it held up) is crucial for future-proof leaders. Don't take your leadership lightly and make room for self-reflection and growth in self-knowledge.

Radical responsibility

The biggest shortcoming in leadership these days is a lack of taking full responsibility. “I regularly see leaders who do not take responsibility for things where they unknowingly cause damage.” Anouk Schaap is a Conscious Leadership Expert and works with high-level leaders on their leadership. “A lot of attention is paid to circumstances that seem to lie outside the leader, while the leader almost always has influence on a situation. I hold up an honest mirror to leaders and invite them to take responsibility.” Investigate for yourself what you are inclined to accuse someone else or a situation of something. Take an honest look at what responsibility you have neglected and decide today to take full responsibility for your (unconscious) impact. The full 100%, no more, but certainly no less.


Step one towards future-proof leadership is awareness. Step two is taking full responsibility. Step three is not entirely unimportant; the translation. By growing daily in self-knowledge and taking full responsibility, you will want to take new steps that translate into words, behavior and perhaps even strategy or policy. Vulnerability is a theme you will encounter here. Vulnerability in admitting mistakes or even asking forgiveness for the impact you have unknowingly had on someone else (forgiveness is extremely powerful so do not skip the step if necessary).

You can absolutely take these steps yourself without outside help. However, at House - Legal for tomorrow we believe in the power of a mentor for legal professionals and therefore decided at the beginning of this year to offer General Counsel Mentoring for Heads of Legal, General Counsels and Legal Directors, who want to grow as leaders and people. You will work with our mentor Anouk Schaap for a period of one year. Anouk is a Conscious Leadership expert, works as an executive mentor and is the founder of Home of Conscious Leadership. Curious? Send us a message ( and we will tell you everything about the program.