Articles From the Team

When is the right time to hire your first in-house lawyer?

The Federation of Small Businesses estimate that 99% of private sector businesses are SMEs, which in turn means there is probably a number of businesses out there that are probably considering hiring their first in-house lawyer. But how do you know it is the right time to do so? We have recently helped a number of businesses hire their first in-house lawyer and each company has been at a different stage of their development, different sizes and ultimately, have required different qualities. Often clients come to us when a business is spending significant sums of money on external counsel/legal fees then that can justify the hiring of an in-house lawyer in order to alleviate that expense. However, whilst most in-house counsel will be skilled at keeping external cost to a minimum, there will always be specialist areas that require specific legal advice and therefore the cost will never be fully relieved.

As well as costs savings, what an in-house lawyer can bring to the business, however, is a skilled individual that can not only manage key legal areas (contracts/M&A/regulatory issues) but also someone that can make strategic decisions to ensure that there is a legal risk framework in place so that the company is protected from legal risk as effectively as possible. The in-house lawyer will then be able to manage issues that were previously undertaken by other members of the management team (CEO, Finance Director/CFO etc.) freeing them up to concentrate on other areas.

The requirements for an in-house counsel will differ from business to business but hiring the right individual will be of great benefit to a growing company. Here at BCL Legal, it is our aim to ensure that an opportunity suits the needs of both a lawyer and a business. We would be delighted to hear from anyone considering hiring their first in-house lawyer or lawyers that might be interested in considering a position as a company’s first in-house counsel.

For more information contact Liam Digan at BCL Legal.

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