When I was leading a start-up that was either going to change many lives or tank (mine changed many lives and then tanked), engaging legal counsel was always last on my to-do list. But I learned the hard way that legal considerations can make or sink a business.
Every emerging company needs general counsel as they are the primary go-to source for managing the company’s legal affairs, including contracts, transactions, governance, regulatory compliance, and risk management. Some clients require general counsel services totaling three hours a year, other growing companies far more so.
When I launched EmergeCounsel, based on my previous experience, I vowed to take the time to understand each client and their goals, aspirations, and respective business niches on our dime before and during our relationship. I believe understanding the client and being involved in what they are trying to do is the only way we can provide legal services that maximize the value to clients.
Any attorney can write a contract, but the role of a good general counsel isn’t just providing forms. Instead, the general counsel is entrusted to think three steps ahead and anticipate every factual/legal situation. In other words, the effective general counsel has their client’s back. By thoroughly understanding the company and entrepreneur(s) and identifying potential legal issues, general counsel can manage the niche legal services that a company may need. It is not easy nor transactional, and it takes a lot of experience and practice to perform the role well.
When both my clients and I invest time in building a solid relationship, I am the most effective. By working together, we can deliver customized legal and strategic solutions to create meaningful financial and organizational value.
Of course, many times, the relationship starts out slow, as it should. But as we get to know each other, your needs and my role generally evolve. In other words, what you may be looking for in the short term (e.g., someone to do contracts) is not what you may be necessarily looking for in the long term.
Are you looking for a legal point person? Have you had frustrations with the attorneys you are working with? Do you lack a meaningful relationship with your attorney? Do you have counsel watching your back? Is counsel effective? Are they empathetic? Have they taken the time to get to know you and your business? Do you have a legal/business strategy?
If you are an entrepreneurial organization, I want to be your general counsel. I am deeply committed to building a long-term strategic partnership. The more we get to know each other, the more we will both realize the value I can bring to the table.
Find more law-related topics in my LinkedIn Newsletter.