What to look for when hiring a general counsel – TechCrunch

Recent companies lawyer paper Highlighting growth trends: More senior legal leaders are moving to startups to take on the role of general counsel. For some, it’s an attempt to find a better work-life balance (oops!), But for others, it’s an opportunity to build and manage their own team or work for a mission-driven company. Aspire to.

This is good news for start-ups, especially those in the regulatory industry where building a strong in-house legal team is a challenge and the fees may actually be added if you choose a law firm. Founders can find top-notch talent there, and it’s more likely than ever to find the right resources for your early to medium-sized company.

The abundance of legal resources available poses challenges and opportunities. Whether you’re the CEO of a fast-growing start-up or a medium-sized tech company, finding the right legal leader will impact your future business. That’s the move you want to do right from the start.

Know what GC can bring to your business

The main advantage of hiring an in-house lawyer is that they will be experts in all aspects of your business. This allows them to provide more practical legal advice and (sometimes) their own opinions on various business decisions.

You don’t need a lawyer who panics and confuses you in an already chaotic environment. Also, there is absolutely no need for a lawyer to present the “facts” to you and other management and leave the decisions to you (it’s a “business decision”).

Another big aspect is that law firms are inherently very risk-averse. This can often conflict with your ability to achieve your business goals. However, as CEOs take risks and move their business forward, it is important to have good lawyers in-house who can manage the potential downsides of risk.

The CEO needs a trusted attorney to manage the situation after a problem occurs and a thoughtful and clear attorney to proactively communicate potential risks. Leaders don’t have to tell them not to take risks or say “yes” when a problem arises. They need someone who can calmly manage the outcomes of business decisions (good and bad) in a systematic and professional way.

Finally, cost is a factor. Law firms traditionally charge hourly wages, which can be frustrating to manage and financially unbearable for start-ups seeking to expand their funding. .. While alternative pricing arrangements are becoming more common, most companies limit their arrangements to a relatively “simple vanilla” representation and charge hourly for more complex issues.

Hiring a full-time lawyer and paying a decent wage to that lawyer will help you manage your costs better and will provide you with better advice over time.

Experience and attitude are important

An important aspect to evaluate is the statutory candidate’s desire for risk. Many in-house lawyers claim to be “commercial,” but this is rarely the case. A relatively small number of internal leaders are willing to actually call on them to take almost certain risks to achieve their business goals.

Depending on how your lawyer is trained, you can jump into the worst-case scenarios, but in reality there is plenty of room between taking risks and catastrophic scenarios. A good GC makes business decisions, takes risks, manages issues to prevent worst-case scenarios, and is confident that it can manage results to maintain the commercial value of decisions. increase. What to look for when hiring a general counsel – TechCrunch

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