Has Your Partnership with General Counsel Evolved?

The role of general counsel in businesses has evolved significantly over time. Initially focused mainly on legal compliance and risk mitigation, general counsel today is much more involved in the broader aspects of business strategy. This shift is in response to the evolving business and regulatory environment, requiring general counsel to be not only legal advisors but also strategic partners, risk managers, and ethical guides.

From Legal Advisor to Business Strategist

General counsel attorneys used to primarily handle legal issues as they arose. Now, they are often part of the strategic planning and decision-making processes in many businesses, combining their legal knowledge with a strong understanding of market trends, competitive dynamics, and the regulatory climate. Their role has expanded to include a significant contribution to shaping clients’ business strategies.

The role of general counsel has grown in importance as businesses face an environment where risk management is more crucial than ever. General counsel attorneys are responsible for identifying and advising on potential legal risks related to business strategies and operations. Their scope of work now includes not just traditional legal risks but also areas like cybersecurity and data privacy.

A company’s general counsel attorney is increasingly seen as a key figure responsible for helping the enterprise uphold its corporate integrity and ethical standards, playing a significant role in corporate governance by ensuring that companies comply with legal and ethical requirements. This aspect of their role has become even more vital in protecting a company’s reputation and financial well-being in a market where consumers have increasingly emphasized corporate responsibility. 

Adapting to Global Business Needs and Technology

As businesses increasingly engage with technology and data, the role of general counsel has evolved to address new challenges, especially in jurisdictions like California, known for its stringent privacy laws and business-related legal hurdles. General counsel attorneys are now crucial for navigating the constant evolution of regulations such as the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) and the California Privacy Rights Act (CPRA). These laws require businesses to manage consumer data with greater transparency and accountability, creating all sorts of new compliance issues that must be managed with care.

General counsel attorneys are also tasked with understanding and implementing policies that align with these privacy laws. This can involve overseeing data collection, usage, and storage practices to ensure they meet the legal standards set by California’s privacy regulations. Related tasks can include assisting with staff training, creating data protection policies, and establishing procedures for consumer data access requests and data breach responses.

Moreover, as technology continues to evolve, general counsel attorneys are often responsible for keeping abreast of changes in privacy laws and adapting company policies accordingly. Their expertise in navigating these rapidly shifting legal requirements is essential for businesses to maintain consumer trust and avoid potential legal penalties associated with non-compliance as the legal terrain continues to shift and change to accommodate new developments.

Embracing the Evolved Role of General Counsel 

At IGC, we have long operated as outsourced general counsel for our clients by seeking to provide the same kind of knowledgeable advice you could get from an in-house attorney who really understands your business at a fraction of the cost. If you are looking for an experienced advisor to help you adapt or grow your business, we invite you to schedule a consultation with us. Let us assist you in ensuring your business is prepared to meet the challenges and seize the opportunities ahead by calling 925-399-1529 today.

Integrated General Counsel