Why should you consider a Chief Legal Officer?
The trend of hiring part-time executives to help with specific roles in a company (e.g. finance, marketing, auditing) has been around for a long time. One such example that has grown markedly in recent years is the appointment of a part-time Chief Legal Officer (CLO).
Engaging the services of a CLO can mean that the weight of worrying about legal trouble can be off the shoulders of the executive team, and for a fraction of the cost of hiring a lawyer for each issue that may pop up.
This article will guide you through what a CLO is, as well as the many benefits that hiring one can bring to your business.
What is a Chief Legal Officer?
A Chief Legal Officer is a qualified business and employment lawyer retained by a company on an ad hoc or part-time basis. CLOs are usually hired at a fraction of the cost of a regular retainer for a private practice lawyer.
A CLO can offer a company peace of mind by providing regular sound legal help and advice, while also knowing the ins and outs of your company. Rather than needing to worry about retaining a lawyer for every ten minute question you might have, you can simply call up your CLO and update them on what’s going on.
CLOs help with many matters including (but not limited to): hiring and onboarding, terminations and severance packages, performance reviews and employee management, policy compliance and handbooks, human rights and disability accommodation, and contract drafting and reviews. These are all things a company technically might be able to manage on their own, but which can easily lead to bigger problems if handled incorrectly.
What are the benefits of having a CLO?
There are many benefits to having a Chief Legal Officer (CLO):
- A CLO is in the know. Unlike a lawyer who has been hired to look at a single problem or to write an individual contract for your office, a Chief Legal Officer (CLO) will know about your business beforehand. You will not have to spend time explaining how your business functions or what you’re expecting from them, which would otherwise cost you time and money to explain to an ad hoc private practice firm. A Chief Legal Officer (CLO)may also do a better job achieving what you are hoping for if they are already aware of your expectations and the larger context of your business.
- Peace of mind. Whether it’s drafting contracts that won’t get you in hot water or representing you if an employee decides to take legal action against your business, you will be able to know that your Chief Legal Officer (CLO) will represent you to the best of their ability, for a much lower cost than you would otherwise need to pay to hire a lawyer for each issue.
- Senior legal advice at an affordable cost. When you hire a law firm, there is a chance that you could get any mix of the lawyers who work there working on your case. When you hire a CLO, you can ensure that you are hiring someone with senior experience and expertise.
- Long-term savings. Rather than hiring a lawyer for each issue and paying the cost of a consult and a retainer, you can turn to your CLO for each task. Many new startups can quickly rack up many thousands of dollars in legal fees just getting set up as they seek help writing contracts and hiring new employees. By contrast, a business with a CLO can save themselves all of that trouble and expense.
- Freeing up your executive team. Many of the tasks that a CLO would take on would otherwise need to be managed by a business’s executive team. Executives can focus instead on the tasks that really need their attention. You can trust that a CLO will use their expertise to create a plan that will serve your business and continue to ease your stress down the line.
- Full service support with rapid response. With a CLO, you will get a quick response and know that any legal matter that you need handled will be done so expertly.
What are the options when hiring a Chief Legal Officer (CLO)?
When hiring a CLO, there are a variety of packages that are available, whether you’re hiring one full-time or on an as-needed basis. Check out this page for more information.
Whether your business is a startup or an established small company, a CLO is the best way to ensure that you are getting sound legal advice tailored to your business for a reasonable price. You will be able to have legal matters handled quickly and expertly by a lawyer who knows your business and who knows what they’re doing.
If you’re interested in hiring a CLO for your startup or business, be sure to reach out to the team at Achkar Law for more information.
Contact Achkar Law
If you are an employer who is interested in hiring a Chief Legal Officer, our team of experienced workplace lawyers at Achkar Law can help.