We understand the sentiment of that quote. Serving as our clients’ trusted advisor in the role of general counsel is the greatest achievement we, as lawyers, can have because the very essence of the relationship is the fact that we have earned their trust. We respect this sacred trust and take it very seriously by doing our best to give our clients the very best unbiased advice and guidance to enable them to make the best decisions possible for them and their businesses.
This role is generally well-suited for start-ups and small to mid-size businesses that have a need for a general counsel but do not want to have the expense of having their own in-house legal department. When we serve as outside general counsel for our clients we wear a variety of hats, just as if we were their own in-house general counsel.
There are three main purposes for this service: risk assessment, risk avoidance, and risk management.
How do we do this, you may be wondering? We do this by taking a much more active role in participating in business decisions with the company’s c-level executive than an outside lawyer typically would do and such representations often include several phases.
First, we focus on gaining a thorough understanding of your business which we develop through a due diligence review of the business and its ongoing business and legal issues as well as future plans. We find that it is helpful for us regularly participate in executive level meetings, board meetings, and other events that are important for your business. One of the things we find most helpful, and enjoyable, is to go and actually spend time working at your business learn more about how your business actually works and to help develop our relationship with you and the people who are a part of your business.
Then, after gaining a thorough knowledge of your business, your ongoing business activities, and your future business plans, we work as a part of your team to help assess and avoid any potential risks; should actual problems develop, we actively work on resolving them before they develop into full litigation level disputes. The theory underlying this phase of our representation is the old adage that “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” And it is true, if we can help you avoid legal risks or resolve them at a very early stage, we have a much better chance of lessening the likelihood that your business will find itself in serious litigation.
For those unfortunate situations when disputes cannot be avoided or resolved in their earliest stages, you gain the benefits of having seasoned trial lawyers on your team from the very beginning. Litigation is essentially business warfare and, as with traditional warfare, it is important to have a well thought-out strategy from the very beginning because sometimes the very first moves that are made (or not made) can dictate the ultimate result of the battle. Accordingly, we will guide your business through those early stages and our firm will either undertake representation, if appropriate (on a reduced fee arrangement) or work to find and engage the appropriate legal representation. We will then work on your behalf to further develop and coordinate an effective strategy for going forward as a team, developing a budget and project-management based schedule, and monitoring the work, fees, and effectiveness of everyone on the team.
What does this ultimately mean to you? Simple: you can focus on doing what you do best, that is, you can spend your time and energy on your business and not have to worry about the legal issues because we have that covered for you. We are your trusted advisor and a part of your team.
Will all of this service we will provide to you and your business, you are surely wondering how expensive it will be. A very important aspect of this type of service is our innovative alternative fee arrangements because the only way this works is if we make sure that the services we provide are cost effective for you and are aligned with your ultimate interests. We have a wide variety of arrangements to offer and, of course, given our innovative mindset, if we need to come up with something new, we are happy to do that as well. Regardless, however, we will always work with you to try to find the best arrangement to meet your needs.