Ben W. Heineman Jr., the former General Counsel for General Electric Co. and now a Senior Fellow at Harvard Law School, presented the 32nd Annual F.G. Pileggi Distinguished Lecture in Law earlier this week, and as Frank Reynolds of Thomson Reuters writes, he talked about a book he recently published in which he argues that the role of a corporation’s in-house counsel should be independent enough to allow the general counsel in particular to serve as both a partner to management and a guardian for shareholders. In sum, in-house counsel must be prepared to quit, or be fired, which could mean forfeiting millions of dollars in stock options, in order to maintain the independence that is necessary to perform the role correctly.