Small to midsize companies usually don’t have the budget for a full-time in-house general counsel. Yet, securing ongoing real-time legal advice is vitally important for any business, and can help manage risk and exposure. We are here to provide dedicated legal services at a fraction of the cost of a dedicated in-house team, and on a scale that meets your particular business needs.
Indeed, salaries for a full-time general counsel are generally pretty high, and can start at $200 to $250K per year. Add another 40% for benefits, office space, and supporting staff and the cost is considerable, if not prohibitive. The reality is that most small to mid-sized companies cannot afford, and likely do not even need, a full-time dedicated attorney to provide legal services. Hence, many companies opt to hire an outside general counsel for just a small percentage of the cost of adding an employee. Most outside or outsourced general counsel are lawyers in private practice with a significant amount of general business experience, as well as experience managing litigation.
The Case for Working with an Outside General Counsel
Outside general counsel services–also referred to as outsourced general counsel–are provided by lawyers in private practice that will work hand-in-glove with the president and management team as the company’s general counsel. The only difference is that the lawyer doesn’t generally “live” at the company full-time. Rather, he or she provides real time, on-demand advice to the company, serves on the management team, weighs in on the legal implications of important decisions, and manages any litigation the company is facing–from an office outside the company.
The outside general counsel serves as a remote extension of the company, working with your management team on strategic business planning, contract review and negotiation, employment issues, and any other day-to-day legal matters which occur when operating a business. Outside general counsel generally have a vast network of other lawyers who can be brought in when a legal specialist is required in areas like real estate, insurance, securities, and if the company needs to defend itself in litigation or initiate a lawsuit of its own.
Outside General Counsel Can Work for Larger Companies Too
For companies with established legal departments, an outsourced general counsel can be pulled in to handle overflow tasks, fill-in for someone on leave, or tackle a project that the legal department just hasn’t had time to complete. An outside general counsel can provide an extra set of eyes on a specific matter or can bring a unique perspective on a complex legal issue facing the company.
For companies without established legal departments, an outside general counsel is an economical option to handle various expected and unexpected legal needs with the same level of service as an in-house attorney. This provides your business with more flexibility and financial stability while addressing the important legal needs of your company.
Affordable Business Legal Options
The beauty of the outside general counsel arrangement is the balance it strikes between business needs and cost. Whether working within an hourly, retainer, or project-based pricing structure, outside general counsel provide businesses with just the right amount of legal assistance, and through the most sensible and affordable business relationship. This allows the company to meet its needs without over-extending their financial resources, and provides a scalable legal resource to fit any specific set of needs.
Moreover, outside general counsel attorneys are skilled in adapting to different corporate environments. They can work on-site at your business as needed, but usually deliver their services remotely from their offices. These options allow outside general counsel to work efficiently providing legal solutions as well as exceptional value.
Outsourced, Flexible Legal Planning
Outside general counsel attorneys are experienced and can rapidly onboard into their role as outsourced general counsel. Your outside general counsel will hit the ground running on both long- and short-term projects, and will be able to use their past experience to create a custom legal plan for your business. Working with an outside general counsel will free up the time of the business owner–or in house legal department–to direct their time towards other high priority matters.
On-Demand Business Advisors and Protection
Outside general counsel can help you set up or evaluate your business agreements and structure them to prevent legal battles and prevent any disastrous missteps before they occur. An outside general counsel can also help your company carefully craft any employment, partnership, compensation, vendor, or lease agreements which can make or break your company at crucial points of growth or transition. Outside general counsel can provide guidance at all aspects of operating your business including:
- Business formation
- Contract drafting and negotiation
- Governance and compliance
- Mergers and acquisitions
- Executive compensation
- Intellectual property protection and licensing
- Employment matters
- Internal investigations
- Real estate agreements
Should the need arise, outside general counsel can also be retained to assist or oversee litigation on behalf of your business, should it arise.
Experienced New Jersey Outsourced General Counsel Attorneys
At Dressel/Malikschmitt, our services range from serving as your company’s outside general counsel, to working within established corporate legal departments to handle special projects or fill in for attorneys on leave. We have specific, locally-informed knowledge of the systems in which your businesses operate and can assist you in navigating those systems to advise and protect you and your objectives.
With Dressel/Malikschmitt, companies benefit from our years of specific experience handling business issues for clients in New Jersey, New York, and surrounding areas. We have a passion for local companies and have worked with all sizes of businesses, as well as with several facets of state and municipal governments.
Find out more about Dressel/Malikschmitt’s Outsourced General Counsel services and let a qualified team of outside general counsel allow you to focus on growing your business, while we focus on handling your pressing legal issues.