Although the term “corporate law attorney” is commonly heard, many people are not quite sure what type of expertise this type of lawyer offers. Simply put, these attorneys specialize in laws pertaining to corporations. In other words, the role of a corporate law attorney is to ensure that all commercial transactions are legal. This attorney will also provide advice to corporations regarding their legal duties and rights, which encompasses the responsibilities of corporate officers.
A corporate law attorney has extensive knowledge on various aspects of contract law, securities law, bankruptcy, tax law, code compliance, licensing, accounting, intellectual property rights, financial reporting, and zoning, among other things. This attorney also provides expertise specific to internal investigations as a way of protecting any of the company’s wrongdoing. Of course, any dealings with a corporate law attorney are held in the strictest of confidence.
Part of the work performed by a corporate law attorney involves structuring transactions. However, this attorney is also responsible for drafting documents, carefully reviewing agreements, negotiating deals on behalf of the client, and attending or overseeing important meetings. The exact area of corporate law the attorney is involved with depends on geographic location and the size of the business.
For example, a corporate law attorney working for a small business would probably deal with shorter-term jobs and may also offer legal advice for the business’s executives on divorce settlements, real estate transactions, drafting wills, and so on. In comparison, a corporate law attorney associated with a large business will spend months on end negotiating just one transaction.
Benefits of a Corporate Law Attorney
By working closely with the client, a corporate law attorney will ensure that all local, state, and federal laws are understood and followed. Because corporate functions conform to current laws on virtually all levels, risk is dramatically minimized. For example, at the judicial level, a corporate law attorney will facilitate mergers, study and draft contracts, and handle an array of issues specific to human resources. This attorney even helps prepare an entrepreneur for the launching of a small business.
When choosing a corporate law attorney, there are four primary company options. Therefore, it is important to choose an attorney who specializes in the arena where your business falls. These include sole proprietorship, partnership, corporation, and limited liability corporation, or LLC.
Additional areas of expertise provided by a corporate law attorney include employment agreements, exit strategies, and leases/contracts. Particularly for industries involved with a high level of technology, an employment agreement is critical. The attorney creates an agreement between the company and employee whereby no trade secrets can be shared. Sometimes, the attorney will include a noncompete or nondisclosure clause as part of the agreement.
As far as exit strategies, a corporate law attorney will come up with a plan in the event that an owner or partner dies or chooses to leave the business. For leases and contracts, the attorney creates a legally binding document whereby the benefits and rights of two business owners are clearly outlined. That way, expansions, mergers, and company takeovers are seamless and the best interests of both parties are covered.