Establishing processes for direct access by business people
Establishing processes for direct access by business people

The following In-House Advisor guidance note provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Establishing processes for direct access by business people
  • Risks to avoid:
  • Suggested pre-requisites for allowing direct access where it is not currently permitted:
  • Dealing with/influencing direct access which is already established

Many in-house legal departments insist on being the portal through which the business has access to law firms. If the legal department is responsible for managing the budget for external spend, then this is understandable. However if the business user or beneficiary of the advice bears the cost and the need for access to advice is regular, direct access can make sense, as long as it is properly managed.

Risks to avoid:

Is there a risk that the business person will:

  1. ask the wrong question?

  2. provide incomplete or misleading input to the law firm?

  3. incur higher costs?

  4. misinterpret the advice they receive?

  5. ‘brush under the carpet’ unpalatable advice they receive?

Suggested pre-requisites for allowing direct access where it is not currently permitted:

  1. a good triangular relationship between the law firm, the legal department and the business person, for example:

    1. both the legal department and the business were involved in the selection of the law firm

    2. the law firm acknowledges that it owes allegiance both to the business and the legal department

    3. the business acknowledges that it should operate the relationship within the agreed pa

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