The outside counsel area has greatly diversified in recent years, with an emerging array of excellent boutique firms that
offer great service at competitive rates.
It is important to find the right firm for
the right job. It is also important to find
a firm that matches your culture and can
keep pace with your rate of growth.
The second lever in your legal operating model is your in-house team. If
you have an existing team, you will
need to carefully assess whether they
can help with the IPO. At the very
minimum, you will need to add corporate, securities, and compliance expertise. You should be careful and protect
the existing team from a workload
point of view. Do not lose focus on
the paralegal in staffing your in-house
legal function. This is something the
US legal world has understood well in
advance of the continental European
legal world. In-house legal teams of
the future will most probably be much
smaller due to the development of the
next lever (i.e., legal tech).
The legal technology market is offering
Alternative service providers
a steadily widening assortment of legal
software, including database manage-
ment, e-discovery, document analytics,
contract building, legal data mining,
electronic signature, and case outcome
probability forecasting. There is much
talk about technology assisted review
(TAR) and the advent of artificial intel-
ligence (AI) in the legal area. Although
the available legal technologies are
still relatively basic compared to other
areas, and we cannot yet really speak
of AI, legal tech will very probably
continue to grow and turn into a major
market disruptor. The currently avail-
able technologies already constitute an
essential part of a legal cost model. For
instance, unleashing a TAR software
tool on thousands of lease documents
is much more efficient and cost effec-
tive than the traditional way of manual
review by associates. Millennial as-
sociates are far better at deploying the
software and subsequently building the
company’s legal corporate and contrac-
tual database, including an electronic
signature and workflow manage-
ment feature that replaces the archaic
manual sign-off process.
The fourth lever consists of alternative
service providers. The deregulation of
the legal profession and of the labor
market has seen the emergence of a
flexible work force of interim legal
counsel, paralegals, and legal specialists. These players provide a wide array
of services, including in the due diligence area, and provide the competitive advantage of providing a tailored
project team on a moment’s notice.
They are your flexible force.
The general counsel as operator
The general counsel has become the
operator who is working these levers
to resource big projects that come his
or her way. This requires a different
skill profile. Companies have typically
The five key success
factors in an IPO are:
1. Reliable partners;
2. Project management;
3. Time management;
4. Control; and,
5. Business focus.
The somewhat unfortunate reality
is that completion of the laborious
IPO process will be followed by
an equally intensive process of
learning to live with the new
reality of a public company.
This means that the general
counsel of today can use an
operating model with at least
four levers: outside counsel,
in-house counsel, legal tech, and
alternative service providers.
An IPO will present you with
the unique opportunity of
defining your role as general
counsel within the company.
HAVE A COMMENT ON THIS ARTICLE? VISIT ACC’S BLOG AT WWW.INHOUSEACCESS.COM/ACC-DOCKET.
ACC EXTRAS ON…Public companies
Leveraging Law Department
Metrics to Become the
Department of Go (Oct. 2016).
Complying with Transparency
Requirements in Procurement
and Avoiding Legal Pitfalls
Top Ten Things a Company
Can Do to Prepare for an
Activist Investor (Oct. 2015).
Top Ten Considerations for
Private Companies Now Subject
to SOX Whistleblower Lawsuits
(May 2014). www.acc.com/
and Directors’ Duties
Guide (Jan/Feb. 2016).
Sample Form & Policy
Annual Questionnaire for
Directors and Officers
of a Public Company,
NYSE Listed (Dec. 2014).
ACC HAS MORE MATERIAL
ON THIS SUBJECT ON OUR
WEBSITE. VISIT WWW.ACC.COM,
WHERE YOU CAN BROWSE OUR
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