Your business general counsel should monitor and promote regulatory compliance. At the same time, they should be able to manage large legal projects and supervise and coordinate outside legal counsel to accomplish your company’s goals.

The lawyers at Lantz Law Group have extensive experience acting as an outside general counsel for businesses in and around Denver, saving them the cost of hiring an in-house general counsel.

Call today at 719-212-2022 or contact us to schedule a consultation.

What Is a General Counsel?

A general counsel is responsible for a company’s legal matters. The general counsel does not necessarily handle these matters directly. Instead, the general counsel may delegate these matters to other lawyers and law firms.

Whether the general counsel handles or delegates matters, they are the primary legal representative for the company. As such, they will advise the company’s officers on legal matters and develop its legal strategies.

A company’s general counsel does not need to be an employee. A business might choose to hire an outside general counsel for many reasons. For example, startups have legal needs but might not have the resources to pay a lawyer’s salary. A company might have steady legal work but not enough for a full-time general counsel.

In many cases, a business might not have day-to-day legal needs and only requires a general counsel on-call for emergencies.

What Do General Counsel Attorneys Do?

A company’s general counsel may have several areas of responsibility depending on the business’s needs. Some matters your Denver general counsel will handle include:


Compliance with state and federal laws and regulations will help your company avoid enforcement actions, fines, and bad publicity. Compliance is a proactive process that keeps operations within the boundaries set by law. Some common compliance tasks include:

  • Training workers in the law
  • Filing regulatory paperwork
  • Obtaining approvals, permits, and licenses

In some cases, a general counsel can set up processes to help your company remain compliant without continuous legal oversight. For example, your general counsel could work with your human resources department to implement a sexual harassment reporting procedure so the lawyer does not need to get involved in every complaint.

Litigation Management

Litigation can distract a company’s management team from running the business. Suppose a company is involved in multiple litigations or one significant litigation. In that case, it may make sense to have a general counsel sitting between the company’s officers and the outside litigation law firm.

The general counsel can manage the cases by gathering information from the litigators, dealing with routine decisions and scheduling matters.

Legal Strategy

Some companies need someone to advise them on legal strategy. Some examples might include:

  • Technology companies with intellectual property portfolios
  • Developers with legal matters spanning zoning, utility, and construction contracts
  • Hedge funds that routinely buy and sell companies

In all of these cases, the company may need an overarching legal strategy to help it accomplish its long-term goals without making conflicting arguments or making moves that undermine its legal position.

Management of Outside Counsel

The “general” in general counsel refers to their role as the company’s go-to person for legal matters. A day’s work might include writing an employment contract, reviewing a new product press release, and talking to someone in the Colorado Secretary of State’s office about a corporate filing.

In addition to handling work directly, the general counsel also knows when to call in outside counsel for their skills and knowledge. Some examples include:

  • Patent lawyers
  • Immigration lawyers
  • Securities lawyers

These fields involve distinct laws and principles that require specialized training. They might even use unique agency procedures and forums for resolving matters. The general counsel can coordinate and manage these outside lawyers by setting budgets, issuing instructions, and relaying requests to the company’s management team.

General Counsel FAQs

Here are some answers to frequently asked questions about general counsel:

Is an in-house lawyer the same as general counsel?

No. An in-house lawyer works in your building or your company. A general counsel is a lawyer who guides and manages your company’s legal strategy. An in-house lawyer does not necessarily need to be your general counsel and vice versa.

For example, a manufacturer might have an in-house patent lawyer to prepare applications without acting as general counsel. Similarly, a company might hire an outside general counsel who manages its legal matters without joining the company.

Does the general counsel need to be an employee?

No. Many large companies hire an employee to act as general counsel. However, small and mid-sized companies might not have enough work to have an employee acting as general counsel. At the same time, they still need a legal strategist and general counsel, so they will hire an outside lawyer to provide these services.

Is my company big enough to hire a general counsel?

A company does not need to be any particular size to hire general counsel. Instead of size, you will evaluate your legal needs. If your business has high legal needs, consider hiring general counsel even if you do not have many employees or much revenue.

For example, highly regulated businesses like casinos and cardrooms, cannabis growers and dispensaries, and hedge funds have high compliance needs and risks. Businesses like these can benefit from having Denver general counsel.

“Eric set up my terms and conditions for my travel agency...

and helped me write up all my contracts. He is communicative, patient, extremely knowledgeable and my go-to attorney for anything my business needs. I highly recommend Lantz Law Group!

Michele Friedmann

Contact Us to Learn About Our General Counsel Lawyer Services in Denver

A business’s general counsel manages legal matters and develops legal strategies. You should consider outside general counsel when your business needs an Evergreen general counsel attorney but is not ready to hire an employee to handle these duties.

The Lantz Law Group business attorneys have experience representing a range of businesses in these situations, such as highly regulated businesses and start-ups. We represent businesses in the Denver metro area and beyond.

Contact us online or by phone at 719-212-2022 to discuss your legal needs and learn about our outside general counsel services.