INTERVIEW: Blackstone chief legal officer John Finley

Author: John Crabb | Published: 11 Dec 2018

Before you moved to Blackstone you worked in M&A at Simpson Thacher. How do you think the role of a general counsel differs from your time in private practice?

The job at Blackstone is more of a management role. There was some management at Simpson Thacher because I was on the executive committee, but it is really not the same as being personally responsible for a global legal department. You have to address reviews, compensation and budgets, outside counsel and internal client services. Moreover, while my M&A background gave me broad-based experience in a lot of areas, I did have to learn some areas such as compliance when I came to Blackstone. So that was definitely a challenge and a learning curve. The other aspect of being a general counsel is that you can’t drill down as deeply on any one matter as you can when you are in...