1st Edition

Proactive Law for Managers A Hidden Source of Competitive Advantage

By George Siedel, Helena Haapio Copyright 2011

    Savvy managers no longer look at contracts and the law reactively but use them proactively to reduce their costs, minimize their risks, secure key talent, collaborate to innovate, protect intellectual property, and create value for their customers that is superior to that offered by competitors. To achieve competitive advantage in this way managers need a plan. Proactive Law for Managers provides this plan; The Manager's Legal PlanTM. George Siedel and Helena Haapio first discuss the traditional, reactive approach used by many managers when confronted with the law, then contrast it with a proactive approach that enables the law and managers' legal capabilities to be used to prevent problems, promote successful business, and achieve competitive advantage. Proactive Law for Managers shows how to use contracts and the law to create new value and innovate in often neglected areas - and implement ideas in a profitable manner.

    Chapter 1 Seize Competitive Advantage: A Legal Plan for Managers; Chapter 2 Meet Your Customer Needs: Move from Product Liability to Product Innovation; Chapter 3 Create Competitive Advantage through Your Talent Pool: Secure Access to Key Talent while Avoiding Employment Pitfalls; Chapter 4 Use Regulation as a Source of Competitive Advantage: Transform Environmental Regulation into Value Creation; Chapter 5 Sustain Ongoing Success through Innovation, Intangible Assets, and Intellectual Property Rights: Leverage Collaboration to Create Value through Intellectual Property; Chapter 6 Use Contracts to Improve Business and Prevent Problems: Be Proactive in Contracting to Achieve Competitive Advantage; Chapter 7 Tools and Resources to Achieve Competitive Advantage: Benefit from Your Legal Resources and Management Tools While Creating an Ethical Culture;


    George J. Siedel is Williamson Family Professor of Business Administration and Thurnau Professor of Business Law at the Ross School of Business, University of Michigan. He has been admitted to practice before the United States Supreme Court and in Michigan, Ohio, and Florida. Siedel worked as an attorney in a professional corporation and has served on several boards of directors and as Associate Dean for Executive Education at the Ross School of Business. He is the author of numerous books and articles, and his research interests relate to international business law, negotiation, and dispute resolution. Siedel's research awards include the Hoeber Award from the Academy of Legal Studies in Business. His research has been cited by appellate courts in the United States and abroad, including the High Court of Australia. Siedel has been elected a Life Fellow of the Michigan State Bar Foundation. As a Fulbright Scholar, Siedel held a Distinguished Chair in the Humanities and Social Sciences. Helena Haapio works as International Contract Counsel for Lexpert Ltd (www.lexpert.com) based in Helsinki, where she helps corporate clients become more successful in cross-border contractual ventures. After completing legal studies at the University of Turku and Cambridge University, Haapio served as in-house Legal Counsel for Wärtsilä Group in Finland, Norway, Sweden and the United States, and for three years as General Counsel for one of the Group's Divisions. She was nominated "Export Educator of the Year" by the Finnish Institute for International Trade. Haapio's current research focuses on proactive contracting as a means to bridge business and law. She is an author and editor, and her articles have appeared in several professional publications. She is actively involved in the development of the Nordic School of Proactive Law (www.proactivelaw.org) and of the ProActive ThinkTank (www.proactivethinktank.com) and acted as Expert in drawing up the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) Opinion on the Proactive Law Approach. She acts as arbitrator in cross-border contract disputes.

    'Market volatility, regulatory uncertainty, the complexity of international relationships...these are critical issues for today’s business managers and they demand innovative, flexible approaches to traditional legal solutions. This book offers unique ideas and insights that will significantly enhance the ability to compete and win.' ”Tim Cummins, President, International Association for Contract & Commercial Management 'Using the frameworks provided in Proactive Law for Managers, our company has been able to seek new business advantages as we deal with a diverse range of legal - and non-legal - issues. Now, instead of waiting to confront legal issues only when we are faced with a legal problem, we take a more holistic, comprehensive approach to the law by using the Manager’s Legal Plan, and the other practical tools outlined in this book, to develop and merge legal strategies into good business practices and focus on using them to gain a competitive advantage. It empowers our executives to address these concerns and pursue contracts and negotiations using a fresh and dynamic and absolutely essential business mindset and approach. This book challenges each of us to envision a considerably more productive state for our firm, one that requires our managers to proactively step in and take charge of business matters that have legal components or potential legal problems rather than simply delegating these issues to our legal department. Proactive Law for Managers is a fundamental book that addresses a critical component of any business and offers a comprehensive, step-by-step guide and other invaluable tools on a plethora of legal issues to gain a competitive advantage in your firm. It is a must-read for any manager and ultimately, it is essential for business success and should be incorporated into every company’s legal and business strategy.' - Alyssa R. Martina, President and Publisher, Metro Parent Publishing Group 'For far too long, managers have