General Counsel Briefings: Information and Expertise When You Need It, Before It’s Too Late

In business, legal information and expertise is the coin of the realm – it can, for example, provide the tools required to capitalize on a game-changing opportunity, or a strategy that will help to circumvent a crippling liability. The key is to get the legal information and expertise you need, before it’s too late – easier said than done for smaller companies without in-house general counsel.

We can help: in addition to the legal advice we provide as situations arise, our General Counsel Briefings take a preventive approach, and provide targeted, strategic know-how in manageable doses, in real-world contexts, in a way that decision-makers can understand and immediately put into practice.

What Are They, and How Can They Help My Business?

Virtually all of the most crucial decisions a business might make involve the law – contract terms, relationships among owners and investors, acquisitions, mergers, employee issues, breach of contract claims, lease negotiations, trade secret protection, run-ins with competitors … and so on. And yet, particularly in smaller companies without in-house legal counsel, business executives without a sufficient background in the law make the most crucial legal decisions, sometimes unwittingly, often with disastrous results.

The antidote to these scenarios is a strategic understanding of the law that governs and defines how successful companies conduct their business – not just what the law is, but how to use the law to maximize opportunities and minimize risks – before it’s too late. 

Our General Counsel Briefings meet this need in a convenient and cost-effective way.  Each Briefing is a concise (30 to 60 minutes) presentation (in-person or by video conference) that focuses on a specific business goal or issue that you wish to address. You give us the background and details. We provide the know-how, the strategies and the solutions.

What Topics do the General Counsel Briefings Cover?

We have represented a wide array of businesses for decades. We know the difficulties decision-makers typically face; we know the mistakes they typically make; and we understand how to get them to where they want to go.

Based on that knowledge, we developed (and we continue to add to) a catalogue of General Counsel Briefings, each of which can be customized to address a company’s specific circumstances and needs.  For example:

  • Increasing the odds of getting paid for your products or services
  • Limiting potential liabilities and damages arising from your products or services
  • What you need to know about employment agreements
  • What you need to know about independent contractor and consulting agreements
  • What you need to know about exempt and non-exempt employees and overtime issues
  • Creating (and avoiding) contractual liabilities
  • Protecting trade secrets and confidential information
  • Dealing with non-competition and non-solicitation agreements
  • Avoiding harassment, discrimination and retaliation claims
  • Dealing with the Family and Medical Leave Act
  • Dealing with the Americans With Disabilities Act
  • What you need to know about buy\sell and other agreements among owners
  • What you need to know about commercial leases
  • Estate planning issues for business owners

We can also design a custom Briefing on a requested topic.

The Goal: Eliminating the “If Only You Had Called Me Sooner” Conversation

One of the conversations that lawyers dread the most is the “If only you had called me sooner” conversation. Here’s how it often unfolds …

The client contacts the lawyer, and explains the breached contract, failed transaction or threatened lawsuit it faces. The lawyer recognizes that if the client had taken certain steps or avoided certain actions at an earlier point in time, the client’s problems would never have arisen.

It’s not an easy subject to broach, but in the effort to keep similar scenarios from arising in the future, the lawyer advises the client, “If only you had called me sooner, I could have prevented all of this from happening.”

The client is understandably angry and confused. “It all seemed like business as usual to me. How was I supposed to know that I should call you?”

Good question.

Our goal is to work with our clients in a way that replaces “If only you had called me sooner” conversations (which focus on past mistakes and losses) with “Good thing we covered that in a General Counsel Briefing” conversations (which focus on future opportunities and profits).

For more information, email us at GeneralCounsel@PowellTrachtman.com

For more information, email us at GeneralCounsel@PowellTrachtman.com.