General Counsel Q&A: Law Firms Must “Shoulder the Problem” and Not Be Defensive in Their Guidance, Says Kevin M. Connor of AMC Entertainment Holdings, Inc.

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Kevin M. Connor, Senior Vice President, General Counsel and Corporate Secretary of AMC Entertainment Holdings, Inc., recently spoke with Thomson Reuters’ Practical Law The Journal: Transactions & Business (PLJ) about the structure of his legal department, his first job, and what advice he would give to a prospective general counsel.

PLJ: How is the legal function structured?

Kevin M. Connor: The legal department has approximately five attorneys that handle matters interchangeably. Each attorney has some specialization or expertise in a particular area. We also have several attorneys embedded in other departments, including risk management, real estate, and security, with whom the legal department collaborates and consults. In Europe we have a Group Head of Legal and several attorneys in each country in which we operate.

Read the full interview in the October issue of Practical Law The Journal: Transactions & Business.

PLJ: What three things does a law firm need to do to impress you?

Kevin M. Connor: A law firm should:

  1. Be cost conscious;
  2. Shoulder the problem, as we do, and not be measured or defensive in its guidance; and
  3. Approach each conversation with candor and objectivity.
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Kevin M. Connor, of AMC Entertainment Holdings, Inc.

PLJ: What was your first job?

Kevin M. Connor: I am one of six siblings (five boys and one girl) and we mowed a lot of lawns in our neighborhood growing up. We started out rolling our lawn mowers up and down the street. Then, as we got older, we would throw them in the back of a pickup (a red 1965 Ford, with a “three on the tree” stick shift and a big smiley face decal on the door). My siblings and I paid half of our college tuition with the proceeds of our lawn mowing business, and there was money left over.

PLJ: What books have influenced you the most?

Kevin M. Connor: The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde drives home the importance of conscience and introspection for me. Additionally, George and Lennie have to be the backbone of the greatest novel ever written — Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck.

PLJ: What one piece of advice would you give to a prospective General Counsel?

Kevin M. Connor: Here is my “one piece” of advice — be courteous, modest, service oriented, and objective, and work hard to provide the right answers. You will do fine.

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