As the businesses and firms fight over the cost of external legal services, there is no better time like the present to consider whether hiring an in-house counsel is the right decision for your company.
As the businesses and firms fight over the cost of external legal services, there is no better time like the present to consider whether hiring an in-house counsel is the right decision for your company. While the companies decide to adopt the policy of doing more with less, they find it a financially judicious decision to expand the existing legal team instead of continuing to pay more fees for the basic legal requirements.
When should you decide to expand?
Before finalizing whether to expand the existing legal team in your business, considering the type and the volume of needs of your company makes real sense. For instance, you can let the internal legal team handle the low volume and low risk work. On the other hand, high volume of work without much risk is ideally suited for a junior or mid-level attorney in your in-house team. Finally, you may have to depend on general counsel services for low volume of work involving a lot of complications. There is nothing wrong in paying money to an external legal firm for high volume and high risk work if it has the technical know how to handle the complex legal needs.
Hiring in-house counsel
When compared with hiring general counsel litigation service from outside, an in-house counsel provides you with multiple benefits beyond the financial savings you make. An in-house counsel with thorough knowledge and understanding of the company’s business adds to its value every day whether it is during the daily decision making or long-term strategic planning. When the GC interacts regularly with the executive leadership of the business, your company gets invaluable guidance and relief from the costly affairs of litigation through settlement, avoids risky propositions of mergers, and prevents the company from running haywire after breaking the regulatory rules.
The following conditions require your business to obtain services from In-house legal Services.
- Does your company belong to a government regulated industry or business with over hundred employees?
- You may have shareholders and investors with financial stakes and interest.
- Have you decided to go public in the long run within a period of five to ten years?
- Is there a tendency within the company to enter into local contracts with terms that vary greatly from one deal to another?
- Do you plan to develop valuable intellectual property?
- The person responsible for handling the legal matters within the company is too busy with diversified legal tasks.
- Assessing your legal expenses reveal that you are incurring more than you should.
- The productivity of your enterprise is suffering as the workforce have to handle legal requirements besides discharging their usual duties.
If the answer to these questions is yes, it is time to focus on hiring an in house legal service for your company.
Summarizing the reasons to hire GC services
Adding a GC lawyer or a counsel is certainly a smart decision that your business may follow due to the following four reasons.
▪ Lower cost
While the in-house legal services do not evade the requirements of hiring an external service, maintaining the former for the everyday requirements or mitigating the daily legal tasks can help in reducing the overall expenditure. Separate bills for hiring different legal experts can add up and cost a significant amount to the business. When you appoint a resident advisor, you no longer need to pay for different attorneys. The salary of an individual or fees of a single agency will always be cheaper than engaging separate personnel.
▪ Understanding of business
Over the period, the in-house team responsible for managing the legal affairs is going to develop a strong and better understanding of the core competencies of the business and the risks along with the opportunities and the threats in the external marketplace. As this kind of understanding takes time to develop, it is less likely that an external legal team will have similar patience. Quite naturally, having a general counsel attorney in your team is the best option you have to help your company to deal with the legal hassles.
▪ Fixed cost
When the legal team stays in the payroll of the company, you can get a clear and fixed cost for the advice without worrying about the unexpected fluctuations in the market such as the higher salaries for the first year associates that is going to impact the cost. Try to find out information about the general counsel services in India that can suffice the requirements of your company.
▪ Looking into the future
Even though having a an external general counsel lawyer or a team can meet your needs for now, there should be someone to take over when these people retire, so having someone on board to continue the leftover tasks is a seamless procedure.
Ally for the business
As the in-house attorneys are viewed as part of the company with intense business knowledge, they can be involved in more issues when compared with the outside counsel. For instance, the business manager would not be interested to call an outside legal service to get answers to some of the queries, but it would be better and more convenient to ask the same questions to the internal legal team without paying anything for taking the attorney’s time.
Managing the external counsel
Even those companies with a fully-equipped legal department may need to bring the external counsels for sharing the knowledge and experience needed for tackling various legal issues, or those for which the internal counsel may not offer the necessary advice. It is the responsibility of the internal counsel to manage the relationship between the company and the outside law firm for bringing more efficiency in work.
Proactive approach of the legal team
As the general counsel lawyer, who is a part of the legal team of the company contributes to the success of the business, they are proactive about the potential legal issues the company is likely to face instead of simply lending the legal support and takes good initiatives for adding value to the business.