A company’s legal department deals with legal concerns that arise throughout the business. For example, writing waiver forms for employees, dealing with lawsuits from consumers, etc.
This is a department that many major corporations have.
Smaller companies may opt to keep a lawyer or a team of attorneys on retainer. Thus, it ensures that they have rapid access to legal expertise when they need it. Customers often contact the department. Particularly when filing complaints when they feel a firm is not functioning as per law.
Google was accused in a proposed class-action lawsuit. The internet search giant was alleged of illegally breaching the privacy of millions of users. They tracked their online activity even while their browsers were in “private” mode. The Legal Department at Google is looking after this matter.
Role of Members of The Legal Department
The legal department usually consists of educated and certified lawyers. Also, it has a support team of legal assistants and other legal experts. The department emphasizes activities that need the help of a lawyer.
Legal advisers are one of the important positions for personnel in this area. Staff members consult with attorneys before promoting a new product. Further, executives may discuss possible legal concerns with employees.
For instance, accused of prejudice in recruiting practices or sexual harassment. In addition, the department could also provide training and support with the employee handbook. This ensures that the firm and its employees are up to speed on workplace laws. As a result, it will help to lower the risk of future lawsuits.
Customer complaints will get handled by the legal department. So, this ensures that replies take place while also covering the company’s basis. If a corporation gets sued the department would represent the company in the lawsuit. Additionally, it deals with the formal filing of patents and other legal papers.
Key Functions of A Legal Business
A professional legal department should be at the core of an organization. It is a valuable business partner and vital resource. The Legal Department resolves the issues of your customers. The department gives these customers a professional reply addressing their issues. Also, the department comprehend the business and explain the benefits of its contribution to the company.
- Advising and guiding clients on legal matters
This is a crucial component of the legal department’s job. Many legal difficulties arise in a company’s daily operations. Most of those require expert guidance from lawyers and legal advisors. This is where you advise on sales, and purchasing. You should focus on customer service, partnerships, licensing, and other concerns. These are the following functions:
- Providing legal and legal protection help to the firm, its divisions, and its personnel
- Maintaining rigorous adherence to new regulations in the company’s operations
- Attending all meetings, conferences, and public events on behalf of the firm
- Case prosecution and litigation management in the courts
The legal department advocates and defends the company and its workers’ interests. They ensure that it is rightfully protected in courts and government agencies. In the event of a court investigation, the department begins litigation. And, the legal staff members are in charge of drafting and implementing ordinances. Further, they also accumulate existing claims in the company’s favour. The following actions serve this function:
- Protocols, claims, and counter-claims preparation for submission to the courts.
- Company representation in the courts
- In court proceedings, the rights and interests of the corporation are protected.
- Preparation and writing of documentation
This role is responsible for the legal aspect of document management. The law department is in charge of writing papers. This includes papers that do not conflict or infringe on current local and international regulations. That’s when the company is doing oversees activities. The following activities are required to carry out this function:
- Legal paperwork creation.
- Layouts for documents are drafted and approved.
- Documentation that complies with existing local/international agreements and laws
Some Examples of Legal Department of a Company
In large companies, the legal department is a part of the corporate services division. They support the organization’s client-facing and back-office activities. Also, the legal team will collaborate with other corporate services divisions.
Here are a few examples of the Legal Department of a Company.
A company secretarial department comprises certified company secretaries and administrative employees. It is common in large organizations with complicated systems. Likewise, they ensure that company legislation is in line. Also, this includes listing regulations, shareholder agreements, etc.
Moreover, the corporate secretarial department also provides support to the boards and committees. They make up the organization’s governance structure. This allows the business or group to function as a cohesive entity.
Financial Service Sectors
Legal teams at financial services organizations advise treasury counterparts on financial products. Also, they talk about the changes in regulation and the legislative environment. The Financial Service Sector is regulating. So, legal teams are actively involved in compliance and monitoring activities.
Another aspect of the legal team’s work is managing information technology (IT) policies. The legal team is likely to have a wide range of duties. For example, it includes understanding technology and the provider’s operating model.
The IT Legal Team advises on:
- Non-disclosure contracts
- Software development contracts
- Software licences, cloud services, SaaS agreements, and telecommunications services agreements.
- The legal status, challenges, risks, and contracting requirements for new IoT services
- Policies and processes for data protection and security.
Human resources (HR) is now playing a more strategic role. They try to adapt to globalization and evolving employee expectations. Furthermore, they also look after technology disruption, and political and regulatory change. There is an increasing range of work that HR departments are now responsible for. Thus, this raises the need for skilled legal counsel on various issues.
Some of these issues include:
- Recruitment checks
- The mobility of labour rules and visas
- Contracts of employment
- Internal investigations
- Disciplinary guidelines
- General employment policies
Legal Department of a Company as a Career Option
Working as a corporate lawyer may be a profitable and fulfilling professional choice. Thus, you will have to study for a long time. So, you need to put in a lot of effort and sacrifice. You will need to complete your education and get experience. Then, continue your professional growth and study for corporate law specialization.
Corporate law is a new profession with advancement and career opportunities. Corporate attorneys get employment in a variety of top-tier businesses nowadays. Besides, this opportunity provides huge career and professional possibilities for young law students.
Corporate attorneys would require to be well-versed in a variety of legal disciplines. They need to be capable of handling a wide range of challenges. In other words, some businesses will engage several lawyers, each of whom will be an expert in one or two areas of corporate law. Corporate law is becoming the most sought-after professional option for today’s young. The globalization of commerce and economics is the main reason. So, corporate lawyers requirements are both in-house counsel and in law firms.