When you’re in the C-suite, it feels like asking for help comes at a cost. Even with a team of professionals — attorney, CPA, financial advisor — that you trust, getting someone up to speed takes time. And as soon as you pick up the phone, the clock starts ticking on their time and the charges begin adding up. Unfortunately, this scenario leads savvy, financially minded business leaders to avoid seeking help when they truly need it — this is the norm.
The Typical Legal Relationship is Broken — Here’s What it Should Look Like
As your business grows, it becomes more complex; and as an owner, you encounter more situations that feel like uncharted territory. More employees require more structure for compliance with regulations. New markets require an understanding of local laws and a revamping of standard contracts. With this growth, there comes a point where instinct, experience, and business savvy cease to be an acceptable alternative to good counsel. And that’s okay — you went into business for yourself, but you don’t have to do it by yourself.
Ideally, your lawyer understands both the inner workings of the business and how the leader’s of the company think. This only comes from a trusting, working relationship with your counsel. But when you achieve it, your counsel can help you build a strong legal foundation for your business, making it possible for you to invest, grow, and sell your business, managing risk on your own terms, at a price that makes sense.
Any Business Can Benefit From General Counsel Services
There’s a common misconception smaller businesses can’t afford this type of General Counsel relationship; that it’s only available to large corporations. But that’s not true. A true partnership with your lawyer is essential for effectively planning and operating the business. That’s why Equinox’s General Counsel model is built to scale for any size of business, every business can benefit greatly from partnering with a General Counsel.
Any time you and your team come to the table to make a decision for the business, one of those seats should belong to your General Counsel. They bring both legal knowledge and business knowledge to ensure not only compliance with laws but also the legal implications of taking or refraining from certain actions. Whether you’re looking to terminate a contract, sign a new lease, or expand to a new region, your lawyer aids your team in evaluating the consequences of doing so — helping key stakeholders see the full picture of the decision and empowering you to make the best decision for your business.
But the General Counsel does more, bringing a deeper business experience. Rather than just identifying risks or making general interpretations, they apply those risks to your business and counsel you as to the options that make sense specifically for your unique business. To do so, your General Counsel must understand the business and its risk profile: Building a relationship with key stakeholders, evaluating decisions in light of the risks, eliminating obvious no-go decisions — saving time and clearing the way for the business to move forward.
Why Mitigating Risk Matters For Your Business
Virtually every business decision contains an element of risk. Most of the time, we aren’t dealing with things that are “legal” or “illegal” — we’re dealing with risk tolerance in taking or refraining from action. And this is where your attorney can really add value. However, most businesses will not think to call their lawyer for these types of decisions; in part due to the perceived complexity and cost associated with engaging the lawyer; but also because we have been trained to think of the attorney as a transactional partner – someone who writes up that contract or negotiates with the vendor or helps us sort out a dispute.
Your General Counsel, as someone who knows your business inside and out, adds value by thinking through the pros and cons of taking a certain action. They’re someone who you and your management team can pick up the phone to call at a moment’s notice to gain insight on a decision. You need this insight – but in the traditional model, it doesn’t make much sense for you.
Equinox Business Law Group Has a Solution
We know you need this person, or more importantly, this relationship. We’ve seen first hand the growth, confidence, and profitability that result from informed, pragmatic, and affordable legal counsel. But we also know the barriers to building this relationship. Which is why our General Counsel model is different — it’s the way it should be. For a fixed monthly fee that’s determined based on the anticipated needs of your business, you receive:
- Risk Assessment. We create a structure to systematically review the important documents and systems of your business, building a foundation of knowledge and allowing us to see what needs to be developed for your business.
- Management Meetings. We hold monthly or bi-monthly meetings with the key decision makers of the business, usually the owners or the CEO. These meetings may be more strategic or tactical depending on what’s happening in the business. We can participate in Board or regular management meetings as well upon request.
- Legal Work. We assist with legal needs as they arise including both known and unanticipated projects. This work includes counsel to the decision makers regarding risk, drafting, and negotiation of contracts and counsel in other areas of law such as employment, partnership, corporate governance, and intellectual property relevant to your business.
Our goal is to enable you to truly leverage the value an attorney brings to your business. By eliminating many of the obstacles that inhibit the attorney-client relationship from developing, you can build a deeper business relationship that provides you the practical, relevant advice to help you make fully informed decisions for your business.
Learn more about how partnering with a business-minded general counsel can help you grow your business. Contact us today.