Benefits of Hiring an Outside General Counsel: Part 3 – Cost Effectiveness | Greenberg PC Flaster
There are many benefits for businesses if you hire an outside general counsel, including what we looked at in the first two articles of this series on efficiencies and a broader perspective. In this third article, we explore the cost-effectiveness of hiring an outside general counsel.
Even though it may seem like your company’s legal affairs are constantly growing in number and variety, your company still may not need a full-time attorney. Experienced lawyers demand high salaries and benefits. A lawyer with at least eight (8) years of experience would typically require a salary in excess of $150,000/year plus benefits. With an external general counsel, you do not need to pay a lawyer’s salary and can only pay for services rendered on each specific subject. Although most law firms still charge on an hourly basis, if the volume of work is large and constant, it is often possible to negotiate a fixed deposit or fee for recurring work performed by an outside lawyer. These fees will likely be less than the salary of a full-time in-house attorney.
Additionally, even if your legal needs are sufficient to warrant a dedicated full-time attorney, you will most likely still need attorneys who specialize in areas that require specific expertise. These needs cannot usually be met by hiring, for example, a company, which is unlikely to have the expertise to also handle specialized issues, such as employment and labor law, benefits, taxation or litigation. Using a business law firm as outside general counsel will generally give you access to all of these specialized areas of law. Most law firms will always provide you with a single point of contact within the firm (perhaps the corporate or transactional lawyer you deal with most often), who can direct you to other lawyers in the firm that have the specialization you need for a particular issue. This will help streamline the delivery of legal services, requiring focus on the specific legal issue at hand at the right time, allowing for better control of legal costs.