In a previous post, I talked about how an in-house legal team can improve sales and client development for the company. In this post, I’d like to share the ways an in-house counsel can utilize their expertise to improve the way a company conducts business. Here are some practical tips for how a legal team can help improve your business practices.
The first major contribution an in-house legal counsel provides is experience. Most in-house attorneys came from a law firm at some point in their past. Having this experience means they have likely been involved in numerous deals. Their expertise in negotiating transactions gives them insight and experience on the potential weak spots where a deal might fall apart. The foresight they have in terms of weak spots in the deal helps them keep negotiations on track to successful completion, while maximizing the value of the deal for the client, which is their employer.
Other contributions the legal team can make to improve business practices:
- Keeping the end goal in mind during negotiations
- Knowing how a deal will thrive; using that knowledge to enhance negotiations
- Providing sound advice to leadership and those involved
- Delicately, yet firmly, pushing deals forward
- Understanding the goals of the company from a legal perspective
- Improving efficiency by streamlining processes and procedures
- Ensuring compliance and oversight (being a “legal eye” for the team)
In addition to using their legal experience to improve business processes, in-house counsel also brings strong communication to the team by working across the various departments of their company. They understand that they are a link that connects the other teams within the organization. This understanding improves the flow of communication among divisions and improves overall business practices.
Other ways an in-house counsel uses advanced communication to improve the way the company does business:
- Negotiating with tact and professionalism (creating connections instead of conflict)
- Improving facilitation; removing obstacles in the way of success
- Getting everyone on the same page and gaining buy-in
- Understanding the overall objectives of the company and communicating that to the entire team
- Linking different corporate divisions and teams together for improved efficiency
- Being aware of what’s going on in each area (sales, operations, finance, etc.) and alerting when things to do not sync up across the departments
In-house attorneys improve corporate business practices by bringing their legal experience to the team and elevating the flow of communication between departments within the organization. In my experience, the best attorneys we’ve found for our clients have these qualities. The ones who are most successful improve the business practices of the organizations they serve.
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