In-House Corporate Counsel Job Description
Companies, regardless of size, confront greater legal, compliance, and regulatory issues in today’s dynamic business climate. Larger organisations often address these issues by hiring an in-house general counsel, who is a full-time attorney (or group of attorneys) who provides legal support and guidance to the company.
What is an In-house Corporate Counsel?
Lawyers employed by enterprises, corporations, and organisations are known as In-house Corporate Counsel. In-house Corporate Counsels provide legal advice to organisations and their employees on a variety of issues.
In-house Corporate Counsel concentrates all of their talent and efforts on their employer rather than working for a variety of clients. They normally work in the company’s main office, but they also travel to other offices of the company to attend meetings, trials, and other legal proceedings.
What is the role of an In-house Corporate Counsel?
The following are some of the obligations and duties of an In-house Corporate Counsel:
- Providing your employer and other employees with accurate, timely, and relevant legal advice on a number of legal subjects relating to the business sector and their products or services.
- Drafting, evaluating, and negotiating a wide range of commercial contracts and agreements.
- Developing and implementing company policies and processes to manage and mitigate legal risks.
- Ensuring adherence to all applicable rules and regulations.
- Promoting legal, compliance, and risk management best practises.
- Managing and communicating with any third-party bodies, such as outside counsel or auditors.
- Creating and delivering legal training for the organisation.
- Keeping up with legislative developments, especially in relation to laws, rules, and regulations that directly influence the company and industry.
- Coordinating with senior members of the team.
How to get a job as an In-house Corporate Counsel?
To work as an In-House Corporate Counsel, you’ll probably need to first qualify as a Solicitor/ lawyer and then specialise in a practise area like commercial contracts, intellectual property, data protection, or corporate law. You will be able to make your first step into an In-House Corporate Counsel post once you have a few years of PQE.
If you look at an In-House Corporate Counsel job description, you’ll realise that the employer is looking for someone with a commercial approach and business acumen. In-House Corporate Counsel who succeed frequently have the following abilities and experience:
- Thorough knowledge of commercial and corporate law.
- You may be required to have a certain number of years of experience as a commercial lawyer working in-house or at a top firm, depending on the seniority requirements of the position.
- Excellent presentation and communication abilities.
- Superior negotiation and drafting abilities.
- The ability to form and maintain solid professional relationships throughout the organisation.
- The capacity to explain complex legal concerns and hazards to non-legal colleagues.
- The ability to work in a self-sufficient manner.
How much does an In-house Corporate Counsel earn in the United States?
As of July 28, 2021, the average In House Corporate Counsel compensation in the United States is $233,996, with a salary range of $205,168 to $267,816. Salary ranges rely on a lot of criteria, including schooling, certifications, supplementary talents, and the number of years you’ve worked in your field.
How much does an In-house Corporate Counsel earn in France?
In Paris, France, the average gross compensation for an In-house Corporate Counsel is 88,430 € depending on the level of experience. This is 3% greater than the average income for a counsel in France. They also get a bonus of 5,836 € on average. The average starting pay for a legal counsel is 60,958 €. A senior level legal counsel (8+ years of experience), on the other hand, makes an average of 110 229 €.
Pros of being an In-house Corporate Counsel
While there are few entry-level in-house options, the benefits of a career in law outside of a firm are apparent. Among the advantages are:
Cross-training in several areas of law – Unlike associates in a law firm, who typically specialise early in their careers, in-house attorneys work as generalists, gaining experience in a variety of areas such as intellectual property, commercial litigation, real estate, mergers and acquisitions, and antitrust, to name a few.
Better work/life balance — An in-house position allows for a more balanced lifestyle than a corporate associate. In-house counsel has a greater understanding of impending initiatives, which reduces the risk of an unanticipated all-nighter.
Unique job options — Ascending the ranks and becoming a general counsel, the chief lawyer of a corporation’s law department, is the most typical path for people seeking to progress in the in-house world. In-house lawyers can also use their corporate skills to pursue a business-related position like corporate strategist or business development director.
Cons of being an In-house Corporate Counsel
However, there is a thorn in every rose, and in-house labour is no exception. The following are some of the drawbacks of working in-house:
Limited mobility — While in-house experience can be sufficient preparation for transferring into a non-legal position, many lawyers find it difficult to return to law firms. Although the opportunity exists, most attorneys must wait until they reach a senior position, such as general counsel, before becoming a commodity of interest to a private company.
Smaller work environment – Business law departments are far smaller than law firms, thus they lack some of the benefits of a larger firm, such as extensive support staff and buffers between juniors and seniors. Because a small firm’s turnover is lower than a large firm’s, competition for every post at any level is certain to be strong – even organisations with graduate training programmes only hire three to six new attorneys each year.
An organization’s backbone is its in-house counsel. They have an important role in the company, from developing policies to making decisions. They’re in charge of managing outside counsel relationships and filling in the gaps in the company’s many legal issues.
Furthermore, they must mitigate any risks that the organisation may face and educate the company’s decision-makers accordingly. As a result, an in-house counsel must possess a unique combination of skills in order to succeed in a corporation.