What’s the difference between outside general counsel and in-house counsel, and does one have advantages over the other? 

Whether you need outside general counsel or in-house counsel depends on your business’s needs, budget, and the type of legal matters and business processes your organization deals with daily.

Read on to learn more about the differences between outside general counsel and in-house general counsel.

What Are the Differences Between Outside General Counsel and In-House General Counsel?

There are two ways a corporation can utilize the services of an attorney. The first is as an in-house counsel. Because of the significant needs of some corporations, they choose to meet these needs by hiring lawyers directly within the company.

Businesses hire lawyers as employees who work exclusively for the company. In this capacity, a lawyer as in-house counsel may advise the corporation on various matters related to corporate law and business activity.  

The second form of general counsel is outside general counsel. Corporate lawyers in this capacity work on their own or in small firms, such as ours, and provide the same guidance to the organization as in-house counsel does, but usually at a better price point. A business using an outside general counsel will receive various legal services depending on the nature of the company. 

Learn more about the differences between the two counsels below.

Outside General Counsel

Businesses hire outside general counsel to represent their organization. Companies that hire outside general counsel are responsible for paying for all the work a law firm does, including filings, partner work, mailings, or anything else a law firm does for the organization. 

Although this can be costly, one great benefit of outside general counsel is that you hire a team of dedicated and experienced attorneys specifically to work for business matters related to your organization. This can be highly advantageous in instances of litigation, mergers, acquisitions, and more. Outside general counsel offers many different areas of expertise and has a wide range of lawyers with experience handling complex business dealings. 

In-House Counsel 

In-house counsel consists of lawyers employed by a company to perform all their legal work. 

A company can address any legal concern or business issue with its in-house general counsel. You consult them before you make a business or legal decision. 

In-house lawyers do not charge you a retainer or a per-hour rate for every legal thing they do. Businesses charge them as full-time employees.

In-house counsel generally deals with day-to-day activities and matters of a business. That being said, in-house lawyers typically do not have the expertise to deal with every type of legal business decision. These decisions need much more involvement and expertise, which usually requires outside general counsel.

Which Option is the Best for My Business?

Your best option depends on your business’s needs. If your business needs counsel with multiple areas of expertise, outside counsel is likely your best option. If you run a startup or small business and don’t have complex business dealings requiring legal expertise, in-house may be a good option.

In-house counsel can be a great asset because they can deal with any legal matter a business deals with. They are responsible for all the compliance and legal aspects of a business, however, not all companies have the resources to hire in-house counsel.

Why Outside General Counsel is Sometimes the Best Option 

An outside general counsel is a legal advisor and business partner. They can give you expertise and insight about best practices in your industry and help you with legal issues like contracts, intellectual property, business strategy, employment issues, and more.

Their primary roles include legal advisor, representative, and service provider. Outside general counsel can provide the expertise that in-house counsel may not have. They can help businesses avoid making costly mistakes, provide fresh perspectives on legal issues, deal with legal, regulatory, and compliance issues, and more. 

You can learn more about the benefits of outside general counsel here.

Hire a Legal Expert to Help Protect Your Business

Hiring a legal expert to help navigate you through the intricacies of running a business is critical to business success. Your decisions today could impact you for years to come — with good or bad results. Hiring a legal expert can help ensure you make the right decision while protecting you from disastrous errors. 

Need a lawyer for your family business? Call 303-780-7333 or schedule an appointment for a free consultation.

A good general counsel can serve your business in many ways. They can advise you on the best way to structure your company while ensuring it complies with all the necessary regulations. Outside general counsel can provide businesses with new, fresh perspectives, flexibility, and cost-effective solutions.

As a business grows, its needs change, so having outside general counsel is a great option to help your business navigate the ever-changing legal landscape.

If you’d like to read more about the Contiguglia Law Firm’s Outside General Counsel service, please visit our page HERE.   

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