Business today operates in a very fast paced and complex world, filled with uncertainty, risk and liability. An experienced and trusted advisor and counselor is no longer merely a luxury for large public companies and organizations. Businesses today, of all types, shapes and sizes, require regular legal guidance, strategy and protection that a general counsel can offer. No company can afford to be without a dedicated legal advisor. But the problem is, few companies can afford to employ one.
What Does A General Counsel Do?
The role of general counsel varies depending on the company - different business have different requirements, goals and needs. One characteristic is key for all companies: unquestioned integrity. The general counsel needs significant business and large corporation legal experience to bring to bear on the variety of problems he or she will confront. And general counsel need be team players - the days of the corporate lawyer acting as a "traffic cop" and mainly telling executives what they cannot do are over. Today's executives require a general counsel who is a trusted member of the executive business team - protecting the company, aiding in the positioning of the company for growth, and working to achieve long term goals.
At a minimum, the general counsel is responsible for trying to assure that the company is acting within the law. However, companies are turning more and more to the general counsel to provide advice that goes beyond legal compliance. A proposed course of action may raise reputational issues for the company. The general counsel is expected to spot such issues and have a view about them. Additionally, the general counsel may be asked for his or her judgment on people. If the company is hiring a new senior manager, that person will frequently interview with the general counsel.
In short a general counsel is plays a key role in the successful planning, growth and operation in all aspects of a business.
A General Counsel Is Different Than A "Law Firm Attorney"
A general counsel is very different than a law firm attorney billing at an hourly rate.
- Hourly rate attorneys are incentivized to bill as many hours as possible
- Hourly rate attorneys aren't often seen as corporate team members
- Hourly rate attorney often aren't involved early in the planning and decision making process, and instead are often brought in to clean up messes
- Hourly rate attorneys often solve problems - but don't fulfill roles as a corporate partner, visionary and executive counselor
A general counsel provides advice on the legal environment and legal responsibilities facing a business. The GC's knowledge of how the legal environment is developing should give the him or her a basis on which to give valuable advice in planning transactions or taking other business initiatives. For the general counsel to be an effective counselor, the CEO and other senior managers must be sure that the general counsel or her staff are included early in the planning and decision-making process, and are viewed as partners in the business process. General counsel should help mold these transactions or initiatives so that they meet legal requirements and do not transgress into areas that would damage the corporation's reputation.
"Outside" General Counsel
Businesses unable to afford the expensive cost of employing a full-time corporate counsel are often forced to pay high hourly rates to business attorneys to address routine legal matters. At the Byrne Law Group, however, former Fortune 100 senior corporate attorney John Byrne offers a unique program for businesses of all size - from large corporations to startups.
The Outside General Counsel program allows businesses to achieve the legal and business benefits of a senior "in-house" attorney, but without the costs of a full time employee or an hourly rate law firm. The Outside General Counsel program allows companies of all size to avoid the pitfalls of handling corporate formalities and legal issues themselves without incurring the high overhead and multi-tiered staffing of large law firms or the full-time obligation of hiring a general counsel.
With extensive experience as corporate counsel and executive of both privately held and publicly-traded corporations, attorney John Byrne can provide the skills and resources of comprehensive corporate counsel coupled with the affordability and efficiency of a flexible arrangement based on the client's real needs, rather than on a set of rigid requirements imposed by an hourly rate billing law firm. The Byrne Law Group offers ongoing legal advice and counsel on all aspects of Florida business development, operations, tactical planning and dispute resolution.
The Byrne Law Group's Outside General Counsel program replaces the expense and overhead of full-time corporate counsel with affordable pricing and a dedicated approach to the issues that can distract and delay the day-to-day operations of a Florida business. An outside general counsel offers a simple, cost-effective solution that establishes the one-on-one face time and client assistance necessary to address the complicated issues that arise while doing business today. Clients are able to structure an arrangement that is most beneficial for their business, obtaining a "General Counsel" who will meet with them on demand and function as an integral member of the executive management team - but without a running "time clock" of billable hours.
Call Today For More Information
We can provide an excellent and cost effective alternative to "big law firm" representation. As a small boutique firm, we can develop a custom fee arrangement that makes sense for you. We can tailor a fee arrangement that suits your needs based upon competitive contingency fees, hourly rates, or blended hourly and contingency fee arrangements. If you are an institutional client, please ask us about our competitive rates for volume-portfolios.
Call John Byrne today for further information about this unique program - and join the numerous other businesses who successfully utilize the Outside General Counsel services of the Byrne Law Group. Call 813-413-6565 today to schedule a time to discuss your specific needs and learn more about this unique program.