An outside general counsel is an attorney who is not an employee but who can bring the experience and knowledge necessary to handle a broad array of legal and business matters whenever needed, without the expense of having a full-time attorney on staff. An outside general counsel usually becomes quite familiar with the company, its senior management, and its operations and serves as a sounding board and strategic guide for the CEO and other top executives.
Outside general counsel may perform the vast majority of the company’s legal work directly, or, when necessary, may identify unique issues and obtain specialized legal and non-legal referrals, overseeing and coordinating those referrals on behalf of the client and helping to control attorney fees and expenses.
Outside general counsel often have the experience working previously as in-house counsel, and also the benefit of having worked in private practice with a wide range of clients in diverse industries. This often results in outside general counsel having most likely experienced and resolved issues and challenges with other clients that are similar to those your own company may be facing. With outside general counsel, you get the benefits of an attorney with years of extensive and broad legal and business experience, even if your company is in its early days.
Businesses today need pragmatic solutions to solve every day legal concerns. The issues and challenges facing business leaders today often require counseling from an experienced attorney who has a deep understanding of how to balance legal considerations with business demands. Having an Outside General Counsel is a powerful alternative to hiring a full-time in-house counsel or working with multiple attorneys and firms on legal issues.
Senior partner and Founder David S. McCreary served as General Counsel for over a decade and was recognized by The Association of Corporate Counsel in 2010 as a finalist for “Outstanding Chief Legal Officer” and the legal department he built was recognized as an “Outstanding Small Law Department” by D Magazine in 2010. He carries this experience into private practice and develops a trusted advisor relationship with his clients as an outside general counsel.