If you work in a business that requires legal assistance you will eventually be faced with a big decision; do I outsource my legal assistance or do I bring on an in-house lawyer?
Now, from business to business, the answer will vary, with both offering clear benefits as well as drawbacks. You will have to balance up your business, your sector, and the amount of legal assistance or guidance that you may need.
In order to help you inform that decision, we have laid out just a couple of benefits that each offers. You can decide from there which one best suits your own circumstances.
In-house lawyers will work alongside your team on a permanent basis to ensure that your operations and output remain in line with the relevant legislation for your particular sector.
Businesses in the media such as newspapers and magazines, for example, would have in-house lawyers to ensure that their published work remains in line with IPSO regulations as well as media law.
Here is what an in-house lawyer would offer your business:
Understand your business
As they work with you and you alone, they will have an intimate understanding of your business, the issues that you may face legally, and ways in which to combat them.
This can come in handy should you need to mount a defence on a tight turnaround as your lawyer will have likely put in the research before the case arises.
An in-house lawyer will also have a vested interest in descending your business, more so than a firm that represents numerous businesses.
If you lose a lawsuit which damages your business and forces you to get smaller or close, they may find themselves out of a job.
In order to make a healthy income, they need your business to remain healthy and can ensure that it does so through comprehensive legal guidance.
You may be second, even third on the list of a firm when you require legal assistance. When you have an in-house lawyer your priority is their priority all of the time.
If you work in an industry that requires constant legal scrutiny and assistance, you may benefit from a lawyer who will remain available on a consistent basis.
Law team, not lawyer
While having a lawyer scrutinise contracts or mount cases may prove effective, it will never be as effective as having a whole team on your side.
Certain lawyers, with niche expertise, may be able to spot something that others may not consider.
The more eyes you have, the more airtight your guidance will end up being.
More for less
Law firms can be brought on when needed, so industries that won’t be dealing with legal issues as much can use them as and when they are needed.
If you only need to bring on a lawyer every now and then, why not bring on an entire team for a one-off cost that will prove to be less than hiring a full-time legal professional.
At a glance
At the end of the day, it really comes down to your own business needs. If you need documents reviewed on a daily basis, you may need an in-house lawyer who is familiar with your business.
If you need occasional assistance from a trusted firm, there are hundreds out there who specialize in business law like Brodies LLP. Outsourcing will offer you more cost-effective assistance as and when it is needed.