As each business grows, its legal needs increase. In the early days, the need is for help with a contract here and there, so briefing a law firm makes the most sense. But as the business grows, it usually employs more staff, enters into more transactions and has greater compliance obligations. At this point it’s often enticing to consider hiring a lawyer to do the work in-house rather than outsourcing legal advice. But the problem one faces is that the business’ varying legal needs span a broad number of fields of law, with no single lawyer adequately knowledgeable and experienced enough to provide the best legal advice.
The solution is not to hire an in-house lawyer, but to brief a team of outsourced lawyers as and when required to get access to their depth of experience but without briefing law firms or having the burden of hiring more staff. Outsourcing legal work has become the most efficient, lowest risk way to address this problem and save money, and its service providers are here to stay.
So why outsource corporate and commercial legal work? Here are 8 benefits you can take to the bank.
1. Better Quality and Lower Risk
The law has increased in complexity over the years, with the result that there is simply too much information for individual lawyers to be knowledgeable in every aspect. Today, ‘generalist lawyers’ are few and far between, and because of the vastness of complexities in each legal field, they are often higher risk than specialised lawyers. Specialised lawyers have honed their skills in a particular field of law, so can and do know what there is to know in their individual field.
The result is that they are generally more up-to-date with developments in the law and its practical applications in their field. They therefore usually produce higher quality work, which carries lower risk to the client. Because in-house lawyers deal with all the legal needs of their business, they usually become more generalist as time passes, so while they may have gained experience across a number of fields of law, they are less experienced in the specifics relevant to each field of law and less up to date on its developments.
2. Increased Efficiency
In-house lawyers often get snowed under, with too much work, or with much of the work they do being too basic or at the limits of their comfort zones. They are often also saddled with other business responsibilities which detract their attention from their tasks, so many end up briefing their work out to law firms and simply becoming legal workflow managers.
Outsourcing legal work can do away with these frustrations by ensuring that work that needs attention is done by appropriately qualified lawyers, quickly, and fed back to the business in an ongoing stream.
3. Cost Savings
Many businesses think that hiring in-house lawyers will bring their legal spend down, but the reality is that said in-house lawyer will not be appropriately experienced for all legal and compliance work required by the business, so much of the legal work will still need to be briefed out to law firms. This usually has the opposite effect on budgets, with legal spend continuing to increase.
Outsourcing legal work to a contracted team, especially one that is virtual and specifically set up to strip away the overheads and reduce costs associated with traditional legal practice, will save money in the long term.
4. Lower Headcount
5. Increased Revenue
Momentum is important in every business. Time is money. Every day spent waiting for legal advice or documents counts, and lawyers who have an awareness of this tend to gravitate towards the more modern legal business models rather than traditional firms.
Being less bogged down with management, administration and training of juniors, outsourced lawyers are able to quickly plug into their clients’ businesses to provide input on the go, keeping up with the natural momentum of the business. This means faster scale, quicker customer sign-ups and staff hiring, more robust customer relationships, quicker settlement of accounts and more business transactions completed faster, with the overall result of increased revenue.
6. Increased Flexibility
7. Easier Scale
8. Access to Specialist Skills
Businesses who outsource their legal function are not limited to the knowledge and experience of one lawyer only. They have access to a vast array of specialist skills as and when they need them, so can cost-effectively make use of specialist (and therefore lower risk) legal inputs as required.
Outsourcing specialist legal work as and when it is needed makes sense for any company, big or small. Make the leap to flexible legal solutions – your team, your clients and your bottom line will benefit.