Outside General Counsel Services
An On Call Business Attorney
Many companies rely on the expertise of outside general counsel to fill a void on their executive org chart… and for good reason! An outside general counsel, while not a full time employee, is a “go-to” resource that has acquired an understanding and familiarity with the nuances of your specific business and its objectives. A lot of value comes from this scenario and many business leaders note that they receive cost-effective, expert advice that plays a key role in critical business decisions.
Put yourself in these shoes and as a business leader. It’s 5:00 PM on a Friday before a holiday and the new draft of an important contract came back from your buyer. Of course, the contract has changes indicated by a sea of redlines. Despite the fast approaching holiday and the sheer volume of contract change requests, the buyer imposes a Monday deadline for your company’s response yet there’s no lawyer in sight to handle a quick negotiation.
So what are your options? You know that the big law firm (let’s call it “Big Law”) partners charge $750 and up, per hour, to handle contract negotiations and your in-house counsel is swamped with day-to-day business operations and governance matters. Or like many small business owners, maybe you don’t have in-house counsel because of the associated overhead.
Come to think of it, Big Law has relatively high overhead to cover also. Consider the cost related to a partner managing the workload of two associate level attorneys. That the partner is responsible for keeping more junior attorneys busy with assignments. Those associates, hoping to one day be a partner themselves, are desperate to keep their hours up and, in any event the associates don’t have the needed experience to handle the contract on their own. As a business owner that is ultimately responsible for covering the bill, you don’t like the idea of paying to educate the associates while still paying the Big Law partner for his or her own work plus time spent supervising the work of their associates. Certainly when you’re considering $750/hour. Although the partner will tell you there is really no overlap, rightfully so, you are not convinced.
Big Law will say that they can push work down to the lowest level and that mitigates the bill you will ultimately see. As a former Chief Legal Officer, I have seen those bills and they are NOT economic. Nor does it appear that money was saved by using associates because it can often take an associate more time to complete an assignment than had the Big Law partner done the work to begin with. Besides, those bills don’t get past the Chief Financial Officer and you often must explain the monthly bill.
CFO approval aside, the occasional dinner at New York or Dallas’ finest restaurants, compliments of Big Law, aren’t worth the high hourly charges that are actually paid by companies, owners, shareholders and partners.
The Uber of General Counsel and Attorney Services
When a contract or transaction hits your desk or you have important questions about a business or legal matter, how would you like to pick up the telephone and speak to a trusted, on-call business attorney? With boutique, fractional general counsel services, you can effectively gain access to experienced counsel without the overhead burden.
Your company can use a business attorney that has many years of hands-on experience dealing with legal and business issues on projects ranging from the office lease to confidentiality agreements to international project negotiations, major infrastructure development, construction and operations, equipment supply agreements, project financings in the hundreds of millions of dollars, litigation management and dispute resolution. All available without the massive overhead that comes with the Big Law lawyer’s fee structure.
Pricing Of Outside General Counsel Services
Outside general counsel services can be available on a monthly fixed fee basis for specified hours or on a project basis as needed to meet your operating needs. Under this scenario, as the business owner/leader, you control the billable hours which allows you to more effectively control the cost. If you haven’t already tried this out, discover the value of in-house counsel without the associated overhead.
Take the necessary steps to position your business for success. Do so by knowing your options and understanding the difference between an established, competent Texas lawyer and other service providers. With more than 35 years providing business, corporate transactional and general counsel services – including experience as an Executive Vice President, Chief Legal Officer and General Counsel – Attorney Stephen Rizzieri has a broad background and extensive experience from which to assist entrepreneurs and owners to navigate legal issues affecting their ability to grow and efficiently operate their business.