Whose time is it?

'My Counsel' musings...

Our 'My Counsel' service ensures access to your own experienced ‘in-house’ lawyer but with the flexibility in service and cost your business requires, and with minimum disruption to how you operate.  

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In my 12 years in senior in-house legal roles, I knew my time was always best spent giving my colleagues their time back. I wasn’t ‘on the clock’, but we all know nothing comes for free. If I was hard to work with, it didn’t matter if I wasn’t charging them. Clients would spend their time re-doing my work, or waste it working out other ways to get things done.

What does hard work look like for those dealing with hard-to-work-with lawyers? It is deciphering advice and re adapting it for business use. It is pages of contract exceptions for tenders full of jargon that needs to be either or both dismissed and re-written. It is time spent only focused on a legal problem, rather than the broader business challenge. It is time prepping for, and negotiating complex terms in contracts because you don’t want a lawyer in the room. And it is wasted time you're often being charged for.

An experienced, hands on lawyer should always ensure they focus on your time and not their own and in doing so, make it easy to do business with them. If you don't see a correlation between the time you're being charged for and the value you're getting, maybe it's time to ask yourself if someone is putting their time ahead of yours?

Martin Richardson

Martin has spent the last 12 years working as a senior legal adviser inside some of Australia’s foremost companies, as well as within the Australian businesses of some of the world’s largest companies. As ‘inside counsel’ Martin has learned that any effective commercial legal adviser understands how to balance the role of business defender with the role of business partner. Corvus are business lawyers and workplace advisors, with over 20 years experience working in Australian and international companies.