Why Every Business Needs a General Counsel
If you are a business owner — no matter the size of your business — you likely have the need for regular and ongoing legal services. Of course, adding a full-time attorney to your staff is expensive, and maybe well beyond your budget. But what if we told you there’s a way to protect your business without having to pay a full-time employee? It’s known as general counsel or outside general counsel. In this arrangement, you retain the services of a business attorney, only paying for the services you need and use — no payroll, benefits, or taxes to worry about.
General counsel provides invaluable guidance, wisdom, and protection, no matter the size of your business or the complexity of your legal issues. Keep reading to learn more about the benefits of local general counsel and outside general counsel for your business.
Some of the top reasons for seeking general counsel and outside general counsel in Florida include:
As we mentioned, the costs associated with a full-time staff attorney can really add up! But, when you use outside general counsel, you only pay for what you use. This also allows you to stretch your budget further. Through an agreed-upon payment method — retainer, flat fee, hourly, or whichever works best for your budget and needs — an outside general counsel provides more consistency and predictability.
Protect Your Most Valuable Asset — Your Business
Did you know that less than 50% of business owners seek legal counsel? This holds even when they realize disregarding counsel could be detrimental to their business. When you count on general counsel, you can depend on a business lawyer who knows your business inside and out, your culture, your clients, and your employees and vendors. This provides peace of mind should an issue pop up, knowing you have a dedicated and knowledgeable expert to call at any time. You don’t have to waste time bringing a new lawyer up to speed on your business operations and can get straight to problem-solving.
Be Proactive, Not Reactive
Any business owner knows the vitality of staying proactive, which also applies to legal issues. The skills that a general counsel can bring to your business include:
Expertise: An expansive range of experience, knowledge, and understanding of laws relevant to your business.
Research: Skills required to support legal concerns and decisions.
Knowledge: Insight into legal jargon and principles, along with the ability to clearly and effectively communicate legal ideas to people who aren’t legal professionals.
Compliance: Assistance with compliance issues that may impact your business.
Policy: Ability to write corporate policies, including in the following areas:
- Competitive behavior
- Conflicts of interest
- Fraud and theft
- Insider trading
- Privacy policies for websites and tech devices
- Sexual harassment
- Workplace safety
When you rely on the expertise of general counsel, you can feel confident knowing you’re getting sound legal advice that can help you take preventative steps to protect your business, rather than doing nothing until absolutely necessary.
The general counsel can resolve most issues, whether transactional or litigation. However, even where general counsel can’t assist with some issue, they’ll quarterback by hiring separate outside counsel to help the company manage the matter fluidly and seamlessly.
Some companies even choose to have more than one general counsel, particularly if they have a presence in multiple states. The benefits of this symbiotic relationship include the fact that the outside general counsel knows the lay of the land. They can help the company and its general counsel manage all legal needs in that state.
Are you looking for outside general counsel, local general counsel, or both? We can help! Whether you work in tech, advertising, real estate, or anything in between, our team of experienced business attorneys is here to help clients around Florida. Contact us today and learn more about how our legal services can help you.