Jimerson Birr’s corporate counsel practice provides corporate clients with legal services based on practices found in many major corporations. This unique service style adds to the vital contributions general counsels and in-house lawyers make to their corporations through comprehensive and concurrent legal analysis and advisement. Our lawyers assist corporate counsel to achieve their corporate goals, resolve conflicts, and serve as the risk mitigation fireman. Sometimes our engagements extend to counseling from a role of the “moral compass” of the legal and business community.
The corporate counsel services group at Jimerson Birr brings expertise, real world business experience and an appreciation of cost and value to the legal services we provide for our corporate clients. Our practice is intended to bridge the gap between outside and inside counsel by making our firm a mere extension of corporate legal departments. We are also well versed in establishing alternative billing arrangements which align our interests as a law firm with those of our corporate clients.
Everyone loves a bargain; in-house lawyers included. And despite the fact that many legal departments are accustomed to regularly receiving expensive bills from their outside counsel, some in-house lawyers are finding that it is not too hard to attain good deals on legal services with Jimerson Birr, P.A. without sacrificing on service or results. Our personal experience combined with recent industry studies show that law departments of many large corporations have taken measures to reduce their outside counsel spending. The number one way that those companies are doing so is by increasing their use of regional or boutique law firms such as our firm. Working with a regional law firm like Jimerson Birr offers our corporate counsel clientele an opportunity to obtain the benefit of our local expertise, personalized service commitment and focus on cost-effectiveness. From a cost perspective, our firm’s billing totals are typically much less expensive than national or international law firms we regularly face, with some billings nearly half of what our larger counterparts charge per hour or in total fees. Lawyers working at large corporations appreciate how lean our firm operates, how nimble and hands-on it is and how qualitative our legal practice can be. Our firm is comprised in large measure of lawyers with big-firm pedigree who have learned client service and sustainable law firm business operations by understanding what improvements can be made on the way we used to do things when we were impeded by big firm bureaucracy.
Goal orientation and budget conformity are important elements of corporate success. Together, we work with corporate counsel to determine the level of production most appropriate to a given legal issue. While sometimes the issue will merit a macro-scale objectives evaluation that requires a lengthy, annotated and expensive legal opinion, other times our services are limited to a phone call and advisement on an issue our corporate clients know we understand and can handle on our feet. Either way, our corporate counsel clients can expect the same prompt and trusted professional guidance based on knowledge and experience that they offer the board of directors or executive management they report to. Serving our corporate counsel clients the way they serve their own clients is an important facet to our service approach.
Our corporate counsel services practice areas include corporate transactions, commercial finance, commercial litigation, creditors rights, employment law, franchise law, commercial real estate, asset protection and insolvency and intellectual property law. Beyond our practice area knowledge, there are many ways that our firm can add value to your in-house legal department, including:
- Assisting corporate counsel in effectively managing day-to-day responsibilities as well as complex legal and strategic issues, including litigation. We can help you conquer your challenges and meet your goals. Most importantly, we can help you chip away at that omnipresent and ever-growing mound of papers and legal issues taking up valuable real estate on your desk and in your mind.
- Serving as a sounding board and trusted advisor. Many general counsels find that they need a contemporary to act as a collaborative resource and provide guidance as a trusted advisor — someone who has “been there.” As privileged issues may be involved, they cannot share certain information even with other general counsels. Jimerson Birr offers these general counsels the opportunity to confer with an experienced lawyer within a privileged context. Because we believe our clients should not defer seeking counsel for fear that every call will turn into a new billing, there is no charge for this service until we both agree there is a billable matter at hand.
- Broad-based consultation with big picture perspective aimed at creating efficiency. Newly appointed general counsels or managing divisional attorneys need to identify and implement best practices in their own work and in their legal department. Yesterday they were specialists and today they are responsible for every legal discipline as well as management of a legal department. We can work with general counsels at any stage of their career to provide advice on multidisciplinary legal and management issues.
- Solid multidisciplinary counseling. Diverse corporate counsels face challenging and diverse assignments. If your assignments and projects need to be outsourced, we can pull together the right team of legal professionals at the right budget to get the work done.
- Project management of outsourced legal services. Some organizations do not require a full-time, in-house general counsel, yet they would like the benefits of having one. They recognize that uniformity and consistency of opinion is important to the overall success of their organization, as is the ability to manage legal fees. This is difficult to achieve without a general counsel. These companies require a lawyer who understands their business and industry. If they work with various law firms, they want to be confident that those firms are not working at cross-purposes. They may want to manage their legal budget better, or have guidance in finding the right attorney for the right matter. Our corporate counsel practice can help organizations achieve these goals by providing comprehensive or project based outsourced general counsel services beyond those in which we aim to provide.
As you would expect, a regional firm like ours has the benefit of having specific knowledge of the jurisdiction and venues in which we practice, along with potential prior experience with opposing counsel and knowledge of specific local rules. Our competitive pricing, willingness to negotiate alternative fee arrangements, understanding of in-house challenges and goals, and dedicated service mentality make our firm the outside counsel of choice for corporate counsel at companies of all sizes and geographic locations.