Building an outside legal counsel relationship has already benefited a number of in-house legal teams. Yes, it sounds like an oxymoron, but businesses embracing this option tactically are now reaping the benefits of having dedicated counsel, reduced overall legal costs and a valuable strategic partner with comprehensive knowledge of the organisation and the industry who they can rely upon at the drop of a hat.
When the going gets tough
Outsourcing a portion of legal work to an external provider is particularly useful during busy times of the year or for particular time-consuming projects. Take the GDPR, for example. As the clock ticked down towards drastic regulatory change, most businesses remained unaware or uncertain of how the new rules would affect their operations or the steps they needed to take to protect themselves. The challenge would fall to in-house legal teams, but with so much on their plate already, a helping hand from an external firm was a welcome addition.
When specialist advice is needed
GDPR isn’t the only strategic challenge that businesses have faced in recent years. As well as preparing for landmark reforms to the regulatory landscape and key changes post-Brexit, in-house teams are increasingly calling on external legal providers to help navigate their businesses through complex cases or transformational projects such as corporate transactions.
This is where they benefit from the unparalleled expertise of an industry heavyweight who has smoothly handled a portfolio of similar projects in the past.
Furthermore, most in-house solicitors today can outsource a year’s worth of work including contract reviews and negotiations to external experts for less than the cost of employing an additional junior resource.
This is good news for the in-house lawyer who must meet high expectations with minimal resources.
When it comes to the outsourcing of general counsel legal services, companies don’t have to choose all or nothing. Certainly, some services are best delivered externally, from firms who offer specialised services.
Globally dispersed teams of specialist lawyers can work with a number of in-house legal departments across a diverse range of industries to forecast for the future, reduce risk and devise tailored solutions to complex legal challenges.