Outside General Counsel – When Should Your Business Retain One?

Outside General Counsel - When Should Your Business Retain One?In-House Or Outside General Counsel?

Many business owners mistakenly refer to the creation of an attorney-client relationship as “hiring” a lawyer.

In most instances, the relationship is actually one of independent contractor rather than employer-employee.

However, there may come a point in your company that you find you’re spending so much on legal fees that it may make sense to really hire an Internet business attorney as your in-house legal counsel.

As the employer, you exert more control over the work done. Because these are typically salary arrangements, you can reduce legal costs or at a minimum budget for them like any other employee in your online company.

When should you hire a business attorney as an employee? There’s no hard rule for that. However, if you’re spending more than $200,000 a year in legal fees paid to an Internet law firm, you should consider the in-house counsel alternative.

Will all business lawyers agree to become employees? Of course not.

Many prefer to be their own bosses rather than answer to one…just like you’re a business owner. However, there are some who will if the salary and hours are right.

Why Some Companies Choose Outside Business Legal Representation

Is there a hybrid arrangement for Internet companies that need steady legal representation but not full-time corporate counsel? Yes, some legal professionals (including Attorney Young at our business law firm) offer Internet legal services as part-time outside general counsel for companies.

Although the terms vary by client and law firm, these types of arrangements typically involve an attorney-client contractual relationship based on the client retaining an experienced business lawyer for X number of hours per month essentially acting as the company’s outside general counsel. However, there is no employer-employee relationship (the attorney is an independent contractor).

Related Article: 7 Keys To Selecting The Right Internet Lawyer For Your Business

The business client has the advantages of budgeting for legal services to be rendered without incurring the obligations of hiring a legal professional as a full-time employee.

Author Mike Young, Esq.

Mike Young has been practicing business and technology law since 1994 and is an angel investor in startups. He's been an entrepreneur since 1988. To get legal help from Attorney Young, click here now or call 214-546-4247 to schedule a phone consultation.

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