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Does My Business Need More Than One Lawyer?

By George Khoury, Esq. | Last updated on

Depending on what kind of business you are running and the depth of your business's attorney's expertise, it is rather likely that you'll need to hire more than one attorney. For most businesses, this is more a question of "when" than "if."

Whether or not you actually need to hire an attorney into your business, or just retain different kinds of attorneys will vary based on the size of your business, and the size of the task at hand. Most small businesses can make do with just one attorney in-house, or one outside attorney acting as general counsel. However, as the need arises, that in-house attorney, or outside general counsel, will need to bring in other attorneys to fill those needs.

Various Needs Require a Variety of Lawyers

When it comes to small business, the number of legal issues owners can face is anything but small. If a business owner does not have a business attorney advising them about the many potential legal issues, an owner is bound to miss something that could potentially be catastrophic. Typical issues include:

  • Government compliance
  • Premises liability claims
  • Employment law claims
  • Consumer law claims
  • Contract drafting and negotiation
  • Business to business matters

To make matters simpler, businesses tend to have one attorney that is their "go to" for any problem. Then that one attorney, often called general counsel, will have the authority to bring in specialists to solve that problem. The concept behind having a general counsel is that they will be better suited to bring in the right lawyers for certain tasks. Also, if your business consistently requires one type of legal help, hiring an in-house that can do that work themselves can also help to cut costs.

To In-House or Not?

Bringing an attorney in-house means putting a lawyer on your company's payroll. Whether or not your business's legal needs warrant one or more attorneys on the payroll generally depends on the volume of legal work that needs to get done, and the time frame for completion. Typically, when a business consistently has enough legal work every week going to the same lawyer, it may be time to consider bringing that attorney in-house to cut those costs.

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