The legal counsel as the radar of the company
The role of the legal counsel is to lead and manage the company's legal domain.
The question is whether there is nothing more to this role?
Whether it is contracts and engagements with customers, vendors and partners, whether it is on going advice on labor law, and whether it is advice on and the implementation of the various local and international regulation a company is subject to.
The legal counsel works with most of the company's stakeholders: management, finance, sales, business development, marketing, HR, R&D and more.
Due to its unique position, and due to its access to so many areas and activities, the legal counsel's role is considered as central and even critical.
It is also considered as an important center of knowledge of a company.
In light of this, are there additional values which the management can benefit from?
The answer is yes.
The legal counsel can be perceived as the management's radar- a factor that can provide the management with valuable information, which it is not always aware of.
A few examples:
During negotiations with customers, the legal counsel is exposed to standards and requirements, such as a requirement for an emergency contingency plan, a requirement for rigid response times and a requirement for a local representative in a certain territory. This information can assist the company to adapt its products and services in advance, and to strengthen its competitive edge.
Engagement with suppliers expose the legal counsel to various business models, such as an innovative licensing model of a software services supplier. This information can help the company to become more efficient in terms of its operations, can assist it to consider offering similar models to its customers, and can also strengthen its differentiation from the competitors.
Working with business partners, might expose the legal counsel to various sticky points which the management may not be aware of, such as a direct contact between the partner and the customer, which may lead to the partner's potential bypass of the company’s interests. Such information can shed some light on the character and method of operations of the partner, and assist the management on its decision as to whether strengthen its relationship with the partner, or seek an alternative.
Working on complaints of the company's customers, can assist the legal counsel to act as the company’s QA, and to flow information valuable to the management, such as complaints on the poor service the customers are getting from the contractors who install devices in their homes. This information can help the company to improve the service awareness and service level of itself and of its partners and improve the user experience of its customers.
When working with employees, the legal counsel can identify who is connected to the company's vision, who is talking the cultural language and who is trying to promote the company's goals. This information can assist management in its decision as to which employees it wishes to promote, and to clarify its messages to the employees.
Working on employment contracts, can help the legal counsel to locate obstacles which make it difficult for the company, to recruit those star employees it desires. This information can assist the company to remove those obstacles, to make amendments to its employment terms and to increase its chances of recruiting those talents it is seeking.
There are of course, many more examples.
In order to allow the management to enjoy this great added value, the legal counsel, whether the in house or the external one, must operate as an integral part of the company and "live" the business of the company, in addition to its daily contract, regulation and other work.
Would you like to learn, how we at Mor Legal act as a radar for the managements we work with?