Finding the best general counsel lawyer is very important for your firm. Companies that wish to have outsourced general counsel services should do their homework properly and take into account all the points discussed below before selecting an outside general counsel.
In-house General Counsel has an extremely important role in a company. However, in-house counsel has become a highly-compensated profession these days and most companies cannot afford to have an in-house legal services team. Hiring outsourced general counsel services can be a better proposition for companies whose financial capabilities are not too strong. It is an efficient and cost effective option.
Companies who engage outsourced general counsel services fall into two categories: 1.Those without in-house counsel but who need regular and on-going legal support, and 2.Those with in-house counsel who need outside legal support on case to case basis.
Outsourcing general counsel services to the best law firm is not an easy job. Several parameters have to be taken into account before hiring outside GC services. We discuss below various options and tips on hiring an outside general counsel based on the type of work expected and the related skillsets.
Identify the Roles You Want an Outside General Counsel to Perform
Depending on the nature of the company, a general counsel may serve a variety of roles. These may include:
Understanding the unique legal requirements of the company is paramount and is the first step in working effectively with outside counsel.
Skillset Required of a General Counsel
The primary function of general counsel is that of legal advisor. It entails spotting legal issues before they actually arise. This requires thorough knowledge and understanding of the applicable laws. He/she must also have strong research skills. Companies face a lot of legal issues and, therefore, the general counsel should be competent enough to do research and identify the legal nuances that apply to a particular operational situation. Also, he/she must be able to clearly and effectively communicate legal principles to non-legal professionals.
Finding a general counsel lawyer with expertise in all areas of law is not easy. However, there are some core areas of legal competency that one should look for when outsourcing general counsel services.
Types of Legal Services to Outsource
The primary advantages of outsourcing general counsel services are cost effectiveness and expertise. The major concern is the pace at which the counsel works. When you outsource general counsel services, you must understand that you are not the only client of the outsourced counsel or a firm, there are multiple clients. How much priority your company gets is very important. Lack of continuity and sharing of information between outside counsel and the company is a major area of concern. As such, not all legal matters of the company are best suited for outsourcing. Matters that are commonly and more often outsourced include:
Finding the best outside general counsel is very important. Companies that wish to have outsourced general counsel services should do their homework properly and take into account all the points discussed above before selecting an outside general counsel.
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