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The size of a company’s legal team varies from one company to the next and this of course is for a variety if reasons. These can include size/turnover, complexity of product/ service, number of jurisdictions the business works across, specific industry related issues such as competition, data protection, health and safety or operating in a heavily regulated sector as examples.
As much as one can, when comparing ‘similar companies’ why does one company have double the size of in-house lawyers compared to another?
One easy answer might be the company has decided to go down the outsourced model – in the main relying on private practice for legal expertise. However, one comment I hear often from senior lawyers is that the FD won’t allow budget for an additional lawyer.
So how do General Counsel justify their service and gain additional budget for their team? Broad brushed answers include: market the legal team throughout the business bringing in more legal work, deliver ‘value’ (a whole other blog!), build and sustain trusted as well as long term relationships.
Most importantly it probably comes down to these key areas: involve yourself in the business- not just the legal matters, give effective, business led advice and be liked!
Some FD’s will never be for turning but more often than not it comes down to the impact of the lawyer to make additional head count a reality!