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Who is the client?

Jeffrey M. Kaplan ( is a Partner with Kaplan & Walker LLP in Princeton, New Jersey, USA.

As a matter of legal ethics, the client of the general counsel of a company is the company itself and not the company’s chief executive officer (CEO) or other individual executives.

But as a matter of practice, it can be more complicated than this, given how important the CEO is to the work world of the general counsel. In this respect, the CEO can be seen as being like the sun to other employees—including the general counsel—with everyone in their orbit.

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