Chief Legal Officer - CLO

DEFINITION of 'Chief Legal Officer - CLO'

A publicly traded company's most powerful legal executive. The Chief Legal Officer (CLO) is an expert and leader who helps the company minimize its legal risks by advising the company's other officers and board members on any major legal and regulatory issues the company confronts, such as litigation risks. The CLO may also be a member of the company's operating committee and is overseen by the CEO. The CLO oversees the company's in-house attorneys.

BREAKING DOWN 'Chief Legal Officer - CLO'

When a large, publicly traded company hires a new CLO, it will make the news, just as the hiring of a new COO or CFO would. A CLO typically has more than a decade of legal experience; positions a CLO might hold prior to becoming an executive include Head of Legal, First General Counsel and firm partner.

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