The One Thing In-House Counsel Should Know Before Opening Office Locations Abroad


Globalization.  It is here.  That reality brings complexity.  And, unfortunately, with complexity comes legal fees.

Among the complexities facing companies that want to go global is opening offices abroad.  We have been helping our clients do this with success for decades.  Over the years, we have discovered ways to maximize legal efficiency and resources to hit our clients’ bottom line – in a good way.  Yes, we have found ways to reduce legal fees for our in-house counsel.

There are many ways to maximize legal efficiency while reducing  fees, however, there is one most powerful truth that packs the greatest punch to lower fees:

Hire One Firm To Do All Of Your Leasing Work

Hiring one firm will ensure that those attorneys, over time, become most familiar with your business, with your long-term and short-term vision, with your pain points, and with your needs.  Also, it connects your legal and business team with the same group of lawyers in a way that creates a set of interpersonal and professional synergies that eventually result in a “well-oiled machine” of business and legal talent.

This is brilliant because:

  • this then enables outside counsel to know what needs to be in all leases.  For example, this provides an opportunity for your outside attorneys to prepare standard Letters of Intent, Lease Addendum or Lease Provisions to be incorporated in to most, if not all, leases.  Such standard documents provide a checklist of “must-haves” for Leases and keeps your in-house teams and outside counsel similarly focused on those terms that matter.  This focus is essential during the first review of the Lease because it speeds up the review and revision process and continues to be helpful in structuring your negotiating strategy as you move forward.
  • this allows outside counsel to suggest new provisions to your leases, ensuring that your leases evolve with your business.  Employing new counsel for new leases will not leverage this institutional knowledge; your leases will not be the living agreements you need them to be.
  • this allows your outside counsel to hire and manage local counsel, if necessary.  Use your outside counsel to direct local counsel’s lease review.  Where possible, your outside counsel should limit local counsel’s review to certain provisions in the Lease.  Minimizing local counsel’s review, minimizes legal fees.  In addition, your outside counsel should run every negotiation and do all of the lease drafting.  This eliminates duplication of any efforts by local counsel.  The alternative is to employ new local counsel for every new local, counsel who is not familiar with your vision and your business – not efficient.

Employing one firm to do all of your leasing work brings your outside counsel, in-house.  With this, productivity can only increase and legal fees can then only decrease – even in this global economy.

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DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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