chief legal officer, CLO, employment lawyers, litigation lawyers, lawyers for employers

What Is a Chief Legal Officer?

Running a business has its challenges, from daily operations to big transitions within an organization. But what happens when problems occur with employees? The result can be a lengthy legal battle resulting in litigation. Not only do companies end up losing an abundance of resources such as time, cost, and manpower, concerns with employees also affect the organization at large. Such problems often result in decreased morale and motivation throughout the organization, and lower retention rates. A Chief Legal Officer is able to navigate the complexities involved with managing employees within an organization. But first, the root causes of these problems need to be established in order to understand how to proceed.

Root Causes

How do companies find themselves in problematic situations with their employees? The answer can be any of the following:

  • Lack of employee policies;
  • Poorly crafted employment agreements, if any;
  • Lack of an employment law and human resource infrastructure;
  • Inconsistency in how policies are applied;
  • Poor communication and reporting channels; and
  • Lack of a designated employee relations personnel.

Some companies also delay seeking help, or the advice of a legal professional, until it is too late. While the intentions of doing so may be to save on legal fees and try to “get by”, does it really lead to savings? When it comes to legal problems, being reactive compared to proactive can lead to substantially higher costs, and even worse, damage your company’s reputation.

The Benefits of Proactivity

Being proactive when it comes to legal matters within an organization can avoid the costs of litigation – where issues are addressed prior to reaching the litigation stage, as well as avoid mass new operational procedures to avoid future legal problems. Tackling these issues in advance can put businesses in a better position to avoid these legal problems from the beginning.

Business owners that have a dedicated legal professional can curtail some of these risks and provide companies with peace of mind while running their business, as legal problems are anticipated and handled proactively where possible.

Challenges of Receiving Quality Legal Advice

Getting straightforward and practical legal advice is not as simple as one may think. Some companies are hesitant to seek legal advice, where one phone call and a few emails runs the bill quite high, without much clarity at the end of it.

What if companies can have a dedicated legal professional who not only deals with the legal issues at hand, but has a thorough understanding of the business and its intricacies? That is where a Chief Legal Officer comes in.

The Benefits of a Chief Legal Officer

A Chief Legal Officer provides companies with the peace of mind of knowing that their legal problems are being handled without the worry of high unexpected legal costs. They also understand your problems on a deeper level; rather than focusing on the current issue at hand, a Chief Legal Officer understands your company to the core and always keeps your company’s bottom line in mind when providing advice.

A Chief Legal Officer makes it easier for companies to monitor and identify problematic areas before things go wrong. Many employers are unaware of the varied functions of a Chief Legal Officer, which includes competency in various areas of the business that the Officer takes on in their role. This can include advice on:

  • Hiring and onboarding;
  • Terminations and severance packages;
  • Performance reviews and management;
  • Policy handbooks and policy compliance;
  • Human rights and disability accommodation; and
  • Contract and agreement drafting and reviews.

Having a Chief Legal Officer on deck who understands the ins and outs of the business provides companies with the assurance that legal problems are being anticipated before issues arise, allowing companies to be proactive and potentially avoid the high costs associated with legal disputes, and even worse, litigation.

Contact Us

If you are an employer who is looking for full-service support or a dedicated Chief Legal Officer at a lower cost than traditional legal models, visit our CLO program page for our strategic solutions. You may also contact us at +1(800)771-7882 or email us at [email protected], and we would be happy to discuss how we can help.