February 12, 2020

What Should You Look Out For in an Outside General Counsel Retainer Agreement?

Legal counsel presents to the client a signed contract with gavel and legal law. justice and lawyer concept

If you are a Los Angeles small business owner, you have likely thought about hiring an outside general counsel for your business. This can be a cost-effective way to have a legal presence on your team, without having to internally hire another employee. It is imperative to have a lawyer on your side, especially when doing business in California.   

When choosing to enter into a general counsel or part-time counsel or outside counsel relationship with an attorney, there are certain things you will want to look and ensure is in the agreement you enter into. This is often known as a retainer agreement or a fee agreement.

Elements of an Outside General Counsel Retainer Agreement

First, you want to ensure what the outside general counsel services consist of. Is it only transactional work, such as handling contracts, or does it include litigation (lawsuits) as well?

Is it limited to a fixed maximum number of hours or is it unlimited, regardless of how often you use the lawyer you have hired as general counsel? If it is a maximum number of hours, what happens if you go over the number of hours?

You should also confirm whether or not the monthly fee you are paying the general counsel is a fee that is a true flat fee, which is paid regardless of how much work is done, or is it simply a retainer deposit or advance that is billed against at an hourly rate?

It is much more advantageous to engage a small business lawyer as a part-time general counsel on a flat monthly fee, which covers certain tasks regardless of how long they take. Beverly Hills Law Corp., PC offers this valuable service to Los Angeles and California small business owners through its Legal Subscription Program.  

Additionally, besides the fees, you want to see if there are any limitations on when or how often you can contact the attorney.  You want to ensure that your outside general counsel retainer agreement ensures your attorney will be available as needed, as your business is likely fast-paced and may have pressing legal matters pop up at a moment’s notice. 

What Beverly Hills Law Corp. Offers

Our Legal Subscription program offers unlimited phone and email consultations as part of the monthly subscription plan, which starts at only $999. 

The other important thing to look at is the duration or term of the general counsel relationship if any.  You want to ensure that there is no fixed period of time during which you are obligated to pay the lawyer. At Beverly Hills Law Corp., we make that easy for the small business owner by offering no commitment contracts, meaning that after you start your legal subscription, you can cancel at any time, provided that the month that you wish to terminate has not yet begun. 

If you are a Los Angeles small business owner and have any questions at all about your retainer agreement with your outside general counsel, you should speak up before you sign and ensure that both of your expectations are on the same page.  You do not want to get trapped into an attorney-client relationship that you are not happy with! 

If you are ready to better protect your business from liabilities and are ready for a better legal experience, contact Beverly Hills Law Corp. now to set up a free consultation with lead attorney Sagar Parikh, Esq. to discuss how we can add value to your business and protect your business, all for a flat monthly fee that works within your budget.

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