With each passing month, your organization makes various decisions that require legal expertise. Whether your company is selling items, managing staff, hiring or firing people, negotiating contracts, or marketing new products and services, it needs to cover itself legally to avoid costly problems down the road.
That’s why more businesses hire full-time lawyers instead of hiring outside counsel. A legal executive helps companies navigate through various day-to-day issues.
- Contracts: A poorly written employment contract that doesn’t take into account the latest employment laws can be easily exploited by the attorney of an improperly fired employee for a wrongful dismissal claim — instead of several months of severance, you could pay several years in claims. Likewise, it’s critical to use an airtight contract when doing business with suppliers or clients. Disagreements and legal battles are often decided by the way a deal is written.
- Taxes: Aside from your accountant, it’s always a good idea to have a full-time lawyer for tax advice.
- Intellectual Property: Depending on the nature of your business, you may need a full-time legal counsel to help you navigate the murky world of intellectual property laws — just one misstep can cost your organization dearly.
- Liability: You may need a lawyer to protect your organization from various liabilities related to your business. For example, the lawyer will make sure you have all your bases covered when hiring subcontractors to work on your property.
- Finance: A finance lawyer can help your organization avoid mistakes when making important monetary decisions. They can also develop a plan for your creditors and help you rebound if you need to file for bankruptcy.
Of course, your legal executive will need outside help if you need experts to deal with things like complex litigation or sophisticated contract negotiation. Still, it’s critical to have a legal executive. At the very least, they will save your company from making basic yet incredibly costly errors.
To attract the perfect legal executive, your firm will need to offer a good salary, decent perks, and a positive company culture. However, the best candidates usually don’t look for new work actively and must be courted.
Using your own company to find a legal executive is usually ineffective because your HR department is unlikely to have the experience and skills required to headhunt in-demand candidates.
Instead of relying on your in-house recruiting team, it’s good practice to use the services of a professional recruitment company that’s a clear leader in legal headhunting services. Such experts should come highly recommended and have a strong track record of headhunting the best executives.
A legal recruitment firm should also be led by lawyers — because who knows lawyers better than lawyers? In addition, they should be detail-oriented in order to understand your legal needs and your company culture.
Remember, an executive will either perform below par or simply not stick around if they feel that they aren’t a good fit in your company. And a mishire, especially in a higher position, can be quite expensive. Thankfully, a reputable recruitment agency is likely to get it right the first time.