BHGCS Blasco & Hawekotte General Counseling Services BHGCS Home Page Blasco and Hawekotte Los Angeles County Office location Blasco and Hawekotte Orange County Office location

GENERAL COUNSEL SERVICES

The Need for General Counsel Services

Larger companies avail themselves of the services of in-house counsel to address several needs that outside counsel cannot provide. Unfortunately, for smaller, midsized and startup companies, the cost of a fulltime in-house counsel is prohibitive, which leaves these needs unaddressed or under addressed. These needs include (i) the desire to have in-house expertise that is proactive and not reactive, (ii) to have regular and prompt access to an attorney who knows their business, culture, personnel, and peculiar legal issues, and, (iii) who can bring relevant legal experience to promptly address the needs of the company. That is why smaller and midsized companies should have the option of obtaining part-time in-house counsel to satisfy these needs by establishing a close on-going relationship with management. This allows part-time in-house counsel to indentify relevant legal issues and to promptly resolve them, as wells as when needed, to supervise specialists who can effectively address unique issues. Most importantly, a part-time in-house counsel acts as a trusted advisor to management.

Without the benefit of either full-time or part-time in-house counsel, management assumes the responsibility of identifying relevant legal issues facing their company. Once management identifies an issue, it must then notify outside counsel and rely on someone who is not as readily available, does not know the company as well as in-house counsel, needs to get up to speed on the issue, is generally more expensive, and finally, is left in the position of reacting to the legal issue identified by management. At this point, the legal issue usually has become an expensive problem.

Unlike the traditional outside attorney whose job it is to provide legal services to companies upon request, both full and part time in-house counsel’s primary job is to anticipate and mitigate legal, regulatory, insurance, reputational and other risks for the company. The addition of part-time in-house counsel to your management team, addresses the issue of relying on a reactive response to legal issues, and substitutes a proactive response. Being reactive to issues is inherently risky to any company, regardless of its size. This is why all large companies, and most midsized companies, employ fulltime in-house counsel.

It is the mission of our Firm to provide the advantages of an in-house counsel without the cost of maintaining a full time legal staff. When your company hires a full-time in-house counsel, it will also have to hire a full-time legal secretary, provide employee benefits, equipment and facilities. Our mission is to provide highly experienced counsel to your company without the payroll taxes, health insurance, paid vacation, layers of associates and other employee costs, that are reflected in the fees charged by outside legal counsel or the true cost of full-time in-house counsel. With well over 60 years of combined experience as business/transactional attorneys providing full or part-time general counsel services to our clients, Bob and I have recognized the critical need for part-time in-house counsel for growing companies. We also recognized the lack of any traditional legal model to efficiently provide such part-time in-house services.

The Services That The Part-time In-House Counsel Program Provides

Our Firm will perform a wide variety of functions related to the legal affairs of your company, including contracts, corporate governance, compliance with industry regulations, business development, mergers, acquisitions, employment including human resources, intellectual property, leases, licenses, litigation management, etc. As a part-time in-house counsel, working closely with management on a regular basis, our Firm will have a unique understanding of your company’s business and all of its internal systems, as well as its goals. We have the necessary skills, instincts and discretion to support those goals, which contributes to a company’s long term success. We have the business and legal experience to act as a trusted advisor to the chief executive officer of the company on issues that have broad and critical implications, and, act as the company’s primary interface in dealing with risk management associated with regulators, directors, shareholders, outside counsel and business partners.

Here are some of the types of services that this program provides our clients:

  • Advising and assisting clients in choosing the right business entity and its formation
  • Drafting "standard form" agreements - thereby reducing legal review of each contract
  • Conducting legal audits - to proactively reduce and manage hidden legal risks
  • Identifying and protecting intellectual property
  • Reviewing all HR matters to prevent unnecessary disputes and drafting standardized form documents for the recruiting, hiring and termination of employees
  • Developing appropriate legal policies & processes - to minimize legal risks
  • Working with your current out-side counsel in their area of expertise
  • Identifying and engaging the best specialized legal expertise available for special issues
  • Managing the specialized legal expertise involving litigation and other specialized tasks
  • Corporate governance
  • Board of directors and shareholder meeting attendance, advice, and resolutions
  • Preparing unique shareholder, employee and third party agreements
  • Internal dispute resolution
  • Assisting growing companies in retaining full-time in-house counsel when this level of services arises

Fees

If all you need is intermittent on-demand legal support, our hourly rates are extremely competitive. We provide clients with the experience of a senior partner at a cost many firms charge for associates, but with the efficiency that associates cannot provide without years of legal practice.

However, it is our belief that clients benefit from a more stable and continuous affiliation with their counsel. This regular affiliation enables part-time in-house counsel to develop relationships with your team and acquire deeper specific knowledge and understanding of a companies operations and culture. We will work with you to understand the scope of your needs and establish an appropriate allocation of time and resources to establish an engagement that includes specific dedicated onsite time, as well as promote immediate offsite access. This will provide you with a more predictable means to handle your legal costs going forward. As you commit to larger levels of service, the rates are further reduced to reflect such commitment.