If you have ever started or grown a business, you probably know how invaluable in-house counsel can be. Rather than having to hire an attorney for every legal matter that arises, you simply walk down the hall and have a conversation.
Having an attorney on your payroll also has other benefits. Still, even if he or she is an excellent attorney, your in-house counsel probably cannot manage every legal issue your company faces. Here are three signs your in-house counsel may need outside help.
1. Your company is vulnerable to a substantial loss
Your in-house counsel may provide valuable advice or even oversee major parts of your organization. If your business venture stands to lose a substantial amount because of litigation or something else, however, you may want to consult with an outside attorney.
After all, your in-house counsel may not have enough time to mitigate risk effectively.
2. Your in-house counsel lacks relevant experience
Just as your in-house attorney may have too little time to tackle major legal projects, he or she may also lack relevant experience. For example, your in-house counsel may be able to write a treatise on corporate taxation but not know much about defending a discrimination charge, patenting an invention or negotiating a commercial lease.
3. Training costs are too high
With time and money, it is usually possible to bring anyone up to speed. As a result, you probably want to invest in your in-house counsel and legal staff. Still, you may not want to devote your entire training budget to something you can easily outsource.
If training your in-house attorney for a one-time project does not make budgetary sense, you may better protect your company’s bottom line by working with outside counsel.