Landscape

Roadmap for an Effective In-house Legal Department

Deliver on your value proposition

The notion that an in-house legal team should function like an internal law firm is giving way to a vision of the legal department that’s a commercial function—a function that drives economic value for the business. Rigid silos are being replaced by more fluid structures. In-house lawyers are becoming business partners, embedded and able to work across units and specializations.

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The desire to avoid the high cost of hiring outside counsel, always a powerful motivator for business, is being augmented in the current corporate environment by the recent economic crisis, the need to cut costs, and the increasing need to comply with regulation stemming from the corporate and financial scandals of the past decade. To combat this, larger companies are hiring more lawyers to build up in-house legal departments to meet increasing business demands and avoid high outside counsel costs. 

Effective legal counsels now need to partner with the business, understand its issues and produce viable and tangible solutions. Lawyers who demonstrate the ability to be business ‘enablers’ and make commercially savvy decisions arguably find it easier to connect with the business teams and will be more successful in their careers. Management increasingly look to legal teams to help make strategic decisions based on both commercial and legal analysis. The ability to provide this combined advice is where an in-house Counsel can really add value to a business.

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