Corporate Legal Departments: Lawyers Or Law Firms?

Linkilaw Company Law

The decision to hire lawyers or law firms is a big one that could either cost or save your business money.


Ultimately, legal expertise will protect your business in a variety of areas, which saves you money in the long run. The hardest part of this is knowing whether to hire lawyers or go all out and spend the big bucks on hiring a law firm.


However, this decision really comes down to the needs and requirements of each individual business. You’ll see a bit more below about what things you should keep in mind when making this hiring decision.

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Why Would You Want To Hire Lawyers Or Law Firms In Your Business?

The reasons why are very simple – because every business is going to run into legal problems at some point. These legal problems are varied and can be anything from discrimination, staff workplace issues, creating contracts, termination disputes, intellectual property (IP) disputes, NDAs, and so much more.


So legal expertise is crucial in any business to take care of these matters when they arise. Now the important question is what is best for your business – either lawyers or law firms.


Each business is unique and is going to have different needs depending on the specific business and also the industry they’re in. A large company is going to be dealing with a lot of different employee issues, so it needs to make sure that contracts are created and legal processes for dealing with these when they arise.


A large tech startup is going to be dealing with a lot of intellectual property issues as that is just the nature of that business, much more so than so a small retail store that sells luxury designer shoes for examples, which has a different set of needs.


So before launching into hiring lawyers or law firms, it’s important to consider what your own needs and requirements are first as they will play a guiding role in what path you take.


Below, you’ll specifically see whether or not lawyers or law firms are best for your business.


What Are The Benefits Of Hiring Lawyers?


One of the major positives with hiring lawyers in all business types over a law firm is that sense of individualised touch. What we mean is that you’re dealing with someone who you feel like is a part of the team, your business’ vision, and you can also vouch for their quality.  


You’ve got the one lawyer or a small team of lawyers with their specialisations you work with and this can make the dynamic much more personalised rather than a faceless law firm.


With a law firm, there are so many lawyers that it’s not so easy to vouch for their quality. In fact, often in law firms, the quality of each individual lawyer within the firm varies and this is caused by numerous factors. Some of those include mergers whereby the quality is going to become diluted by the additional new lawyers who may not be as good as that from the other company.


There are things like average lawyers making it to partnership because they are client magnets rather than exceptional lawyers. Either way, the quality may not always be there with a law firm and it’s much harder to keep tabs on this.


Furthermore, their costs are quite large and it may not always be ideal for you to be spending a lot of money on a law firm if your business is small and there are not a lot of legal requirements that need attention. In this case, a specialised individual lawyers would be suffice.


What Are The Benefits Of Hiring Law Firms?


Some of the main reasons to hire a law firm is that you have a large company with daily legal issues that need handling.


The reality is that a law firm is generally going to be much more suited to big businesses compared to that of small businesses. Lawyers are more ideal for small businesses where they can handle specialised legal areas when they arise.


However, a big company is going to have a plethora of legal issues to handle across different areas that need to be handled daily. The facts are that individual lawyers are simply not going to be able to handle intellectual property disputes, contractual issues, termination issues, discrimination, harassment issues and so much more.


A law firm, on the other hand, has all the different specialisations within their firm to handle these requirements.


Hiring a law firm will cost a lot more than a lawyer because of overhead but you need to think about what your business needs specifically. And if you run a large company with daily needs across an eclectic range of areas then you’re going to need a law firm to take care of things for you.

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At some point, you’ll outgrow the small business stage and you need to adapt with that.




Overall, remember that it’s the size of your business and its legal requirements that should really determine whether you need to hire lawyers or a law firm. Small businesses probably don’t need to hire a law firm unless they have ongoing legal requirements in a wide range of areas that need tending.


Larger companies are more likely going to need to hire a law firm. However, the most important thing in all of this is making a hiring decision that is in the best interests of your business. Always consider your unique requirements and needs first and foremost and make your decision from there.


If you need any legal help in your business then get in touch today with one of our many qualified lawyers.