Small and medium-sized companies have the same legal needs for contract drafting, litigation services and collections as any large company. Unfortunately, smaller companies can’t rely on an internal legal department as needed and must engage legal services a la carte. This is costly, time-consuming, and something a small business simply cannot .
However, this problem does not have to be an issue for your company. With the help of an outside general counsel, you can get all the help you need from one attorney, freeing up your time and energy to focus on what matters most- your business.
What work does outside general counsel perform?
An outside general counsel is typically an outside attorney (working solo or for a law firm), who takes on the responsibilities similar to those of in-house lawyers. A general counsel can serve many different roles, depending on the nature of the company they are assisting. However, the primary functions they fill for a company include the following:
- Legal Advisor: A general counsel can provide you with the legal advice that your company and employees need. Specifically, they can help you spot potential legal problems and concerns while also providing legal guidance to ensure that employees comply with the different laws.
- Primary Contact: If there is any legal issue, your general counsel can serve as the central point of contact for a company. Typically, this means that your counsel can work on matters involving significant business transactions, or any matter involving litigation.
- Legal Services Provider: The general counsel can provide your company with a variety of legal services that your company needs, including everything from contract drafting and review, employment law disclosures, and corporate governance procedures.
- Overflow: Even at larger companies, in-house counsel may not be able to complete all the required tasks. In those situations, rather than hiring additional lawyers who you may not need in the future, the company will retain an outside general counsel to help with overflow work, assisting the client’s in-house attorneys.
How can outside general counsel help my company?
As each client has different needs, an outside general counsel can determine the specific relationship that you require and fulfill that role—ensuring that it is advantageous to your individual business requirements and cost-effective for your company. The whole purpose of outside general counsel is to provide your company the benefit of a full-service law firm, bringing you the vast array of legal experience you need but removing the costs associated with one.
When you work with outside general counsel, you can fill that legal void that many companies have without hiring a full-time legal staff. This means ensuring your business enjoys all the protections and benefits of experienced counsel, while substantially saving on costs and time—two resources that are essential to a growing small- or mid-sized business.