Every business organization needs general counsel services for their smooth functioning. There are lot of legal matters that need to be taken care of on a regular basis besides specific legal issues that often arise. However, whether to have in-house general counsel services or to outsource it is a tricky question.
Companies often find themselves in a quandary when it comes to the decision of hiring a general counsel. A lot of things have to be factored in, such as whether the company can afford to hire a full-time general counsel-in house general counsel is a highly paid profession- and whether there is enough legal work that an in-house counsel is needed. Though in-house general counsel can be an added asset to the company, outsourced general counsel services have their own distinct advantages. From being cost-effective to offering more comprehensive and expert legal advice on specific matters, the outsourced general counsel has a lot of benefits to offer.
Basic Advantages of Outsourcing Legal Services
If you are contemplating outsourcing general counsel services you probably would have thought about its advantages vis-à-vis in house general counsel. First and foremost is the cost advantage it has over in house counsel. You can potentially cut down your legal expenditure by almost 50%. Besides, you get expert legal advice from skilled and experienced lawyers from different areas of law. Further, when you work with these professionals, piles of scattered data gets transformed into organized easy to access information. You save a lot of time from your involvement in legal matters, which you can utilize on other more productive activities to grow your business. You can even hire outside lawyers on part-time basis or project basis.
Reasons to Outsource the General Counsel Services
There are various reasons to outsource legal services as it offers lot of benefits to the organization. However, it is important that you develop and maintain a good working relationship with the outside counsel. Some reasons for hiring outside general counsel have been listed below.
Outsourced general counsel services help you save a lot on costs. Instead of incurring a huge monthly overhead cost on maintaining a team of lawyers to handle your legal work, you will have to pay the outsourced counsel on project or need based service. You will be able to drastically reduce your legal expenses. Also, by hiring outside counsel on project basis you save on long term costs of recruitment and employee benefits that you have to offer to regular employees under the stringent labour laws. You even have the option of outsourcing some legal services to a foreign country where labour cost is low. India, with its large pool of skilled and knowledgeable lawyers, is the most preferred option for many western countries for outsourcing legal services.
Outsourcing legal services gives you access to diversified knowledge base and expertise in specific areas of law. Instead of just relying on your in house counsel, who probably doesn’t have knowledge and experience in every branch of law, outsourcing allows you to hire experts from different areas of law as and when required. This essentially means high level of specialisation in legal matters which otherwise wouldn’t have been possible with your inside counsel. Since experts would be working on your project, they will be able to complete the task much quicker and more efficiently than the inside counsel who may not have the required skill and knowledge to efficiently accomplish a particular task. Also, if you outsource the legal services to an offshore location, you can get round the clock service.
Optimal Use of Time
Outsourced general counsel and company secretarial services allow you to spend more time and energy on matters that require your attention. Corporate lawyers, who already have their plate full, can now focus on more important legal issues of strategic importance, than being over burdened by mundane, routine legal work. It also frees up other resources of the company, and the HR department has to now handle lesser number of personnel.
Outsourcing allows you more flexibility in how you handle and manage your legal expenses. When you outsource your legal requirements on a project basis you do so with definitive timelines and outcomes. You have the liberty to increase or decrease the legal spends as per the requirement, and you can expand or contract your legal team accordingly. As a result, you will have a flexible, agile team that can quickly adapt to the changing situations by altering its size and focus according to the demands of the prevailing conditions.
Mentioned above were some prime benefits of outsourced general counsel services. However, there are certain disadvantages as well. You should carefully weigh the pros and cons of outsourcing a particular legal service, and must show discretion in your choice.