Rethinkers
Great just isn't good enough
Kent Walker
General Counsel, Google

“Disruption is Google’s bread and butter,” says Kent Walker, General Counsel of Google. “The company’s ambition is to give everyone access to information—which can raise all kinds of novel legal questions.” As a result, Kent and his team face non-standard challenges and are constantly breaking new legal ground.

While a typical company might spend up to 70% of their time supporting traditional commercial activity or routine litigation, Google spends at least that much time on policy, regulatory and competitor challenges that require creative analysis and a novel approach. 

Google’s unique challenges demand that Kent take an innovative approach to talent management. Where most in-house departments silo lawyers by domain experience, Kent’s design encourages diagonal moves within the company. The result is a more engaged, broad-minded and creative legal team that accumulates and applies subject matter expertise in versatile ways.

The results have been encouraging. In the IP realm alone, a 10-0 record on patent litigation, landmark wins for industry-defining copyright and privacy issues, and 3 of the top 25 IP lawyers in the country on his team. 

“In the legal world, efficiency is innovation. And we’re getting there. But our motto at Google is that being great at something is a starting point, not an endpoint. We’re still not quite good enough.”