A corporate lawyer spends most of their time sifting through highly detailed documents. This is the nature of the work.
They are often asked to provide their legal opinion and interpretation of pertinent court rulings that might affect the corporation’s interests. They are also required to possess strong problem-solving and analytical thinking skills.
Legal drafting is preparing written documents like motions, memos, and contracts. A well-drafted document can reduce legal disputes by clarifying issues, ensuring compliance, and minimizing risks. It should also be clear and concise to make it easier for non-lawyers to read.
Corporate lawyers review and evaluate legal documents related to day-to-day operations, procurement, and corporate housekeeping. They advise senior management and corporate governance and ensure regulatory compliance.
They may also receive detailed investment proposals with technical details and plans that can’t be satisfactorily reviewed with a cursory legal examination. This is where their research skills and expertise come into play. They study the proposed transaction to see how state, provincial, and federal laws might affect it. Depending on the size and nature of the corporation, they might even have to look at proposals from foreign investors or corporations. As the legal drafting becomes more artful, they will modify provisions to reflect the parties’ focus and business cultures and to ensure the recipient quickly understands their work.
One of the more critical skills a corporate lawyer Denver develops is negotiating. This back-and-forth dialogue can be conducted in person or via telephone and email and often involves the corporate lawyer’s client being involved in a dispute with another entity.
Effective negotiating requires thorough research of the law, a clear understanding of the dispute and its implications, and a well-constructed strategy. Knowing the other party’s motivations, strengths, and weaknesses and how those might influence the negotiation is vital.
For example, it’s essential to understand whether the other side believes their provisions are market-based or otherwise “fair” under the circumstances of the dispute. It’s also essential to remember that it’s not a war and that all parties must get something out of the negotiations. This can be achieved by fostering rapport, asking questions (particularly open-ended ones like what, how, and why), and probing the other party’s fundamental goals, needs, and interests. The result is an agreement that’s mutually beneficial to both sides.
A corporate lawyer must have a good understanding of how to maintain compliance in the company. This includes ensuring all employees follow company policies and guidelines and a strict code of ethics. This is especially important when dealing with sensitive information or handling money.
Sometimes, corporations receive detailed investment proposals that contain technical details and plans that can only be thoroughly evaluated if the corporation understands the legal ramifications of these investments. A corporate lawyer can evaluate these proposals to make sure they are legal and can be legally implemented.
Similarly, when the human resources department of a corporation prepares an employment contract for a new hire, it is usually sent to the corporate lawyer to ensure that the contract does not violate any internal company or employment laws. A corporate lawyer can also help a corporation review its relationships with vendors and subcontractors to ensure the company adheres to all government requirements and regulations.
Mergers & Acquisitions
One of the most essential things a corporate lawyer does is to ensure that commercial transactions are legal. This requires a thorough understanding of statutory laws and regulations passed by government agencies.
These laws may include tax laws, employment laws, securities regulations, environmental laws, and more. Corporate lawyers must also be able to identify potential issues before they arise during a transaction. This includes performing due diligence on a potential partner or vendor to ensure they are free of any judgments, liens, or other liabilities.
Another significant aspect of M&A is ensuring the deal complies with antitrust laws. This means that the corporate attorney must be able to analyze whether or not the merger will significantly lessen competition, create a monopoly, or otherwise break antitrust laws. This can involve complicated discussions with the target company’s attorneys to determine whether a deal is worth going forward. A split-off or carve-out of shares is often necessary to comply with antitrust laws.