Outside General Counsel

An outside general counsel is an attorney who is not an employee but an attorney who can bring the experience and knowledge necessary to handle, guide and direct the daily legal and business matters, without the expense of hiring a full-time attorney as an employee. What I bring to my client is the expertise to perform a large portion of a company’s legal work without incurring costs usually associated with large firms or outside counsel located elsewhere in the state. Telephone calls and emails are efficient but my local presence allows me to become personally familiar with my client’s company, its senior management and its operations. When necessary, because of my on-going relationship with the company, I will identify the unique issues and work with my client to obtain specialized legal referrals or coordinate with larger firms, while overseeing the work and costs. At the end of the day, my client is personally served, with on-site advice and counsel, and saves cost and time when specialized or larger firms are necessary for the “bet the company” cases.

Should you consider a local outside counsel?

  1. Does your company have one or more employees?
    Vermont employers face complex state and federal laws, regulations and guidelines that govern how to treat employees and what employees can say about employers and they can do in the workplace. Making inadvertent mistakes will be costly and could impact the bottom line of profits. Employment laws change often, particularly in the world of social media, and every business should review compliance with those laws.
  2. Does your company have between 20 and 100 employees?
    Companies of this size face additional legal and business challenges that smaller companies may be able to avoid. My rates are usually lower than larger and specialized firms and my extensive experience in employment law will benefit your challenges on a daily basis.
  3. Is your company operating in an industry with extra regulatory or compliance issues?
    Construction companies, restaurants and establishments that sell alcohol are operating within industries that often have to comply with additional licensing, regulatory and reporting obligations. Ensuring those obligations are not only satisfied but also that companies operating in such industries are at all times ready for potential unannounced audits by their licensing boards or regulatory agencies is critical to their ability to continue to operate. I have additional hands-on experience in these areas, and I can properly identify and maintain licensing, regulatory and reporting obligations required to keep the doors open and the lights on.
  4. Do you negotiate more than just a few contracts each year?
    Do you negotiate and draft contracts with customers, distributors or vendors? Do you have proprietary information and trade secrets critical to your business that must be maintained as confidential by third parties? Do you have employees that are key to your operations? To avoid misunderstandings and, more important, to avoid litigation, these situations require the expertise of an attorney to negotiate and draft contracts to allow the most flexibility while at the same time offer maximum protection.
  5. Do you need an experienced, outside trusted advisor to assist with some of the more complex aspects of your business?
    I have business expertise in addition to my legal background. I owned and operated my law firm in Kansas City, before moving to NYC and then Vermont, where I employed up to 10 employees and managed a robust litigation practice. I also have worked at Sprint and a national trucking insurance firm as in-house counsel. Having practiced law for 27 years with a wide range of clients in diverse industries, I most likely have experienced and resolved issues similar to those you are facing and will face in your continuing operations.