Mastercard’s Marvin Mikhail: good in-house counsel are ‘sponges’ who soak up business from inside

When in-house teams are doing their job properly, legal services are not a commodity, says Marvin Mikhail

By Julius Melnitzer | June 21, 2023

Marvin Mikhail, vice president and senior managing counsel for Mastercard in Canada, likens his role to that of a sponge.

“Successful in-house lawyers are most valuable when they advise their companies from within, and to do that, they must soak up the business from inside,” he says.

Mikhail adds that the divide between external and in-house counsel lies in the nature of the risks they assess.

“External counsel’s job is to assess legal risk from all its angles, whereas in-house lawyers need to assess and balance a myriad of risks, including geo-political risk, in a world that has become incredibly complex and uncertain.”

Mikhail has approached risk from both points of view. MORE . . .

Julius Melnitzer is a Toronto-based legal affairs writer, ghostwriter, writing coach and media trainer. Readers can reach him at [email protected] or


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