Why Experience Matters
With over 26 years of legal experience under my belt, including stints as a General Counsel and in Big Law, I’ve been involved in more than my share of complicated and exciting transactions, which sometimes invites the question of why I enjoy working with clients on routine affairs like non-disclosure agreements, corporate governance issues, basic contract review and drafting, and general commercial law matters. In a nutshell, client satisfaction is the reason; and here are just a few reasons why our clients are so happy:
- Efficient Service
Clients appreciate efficiency, and OGC attorneys are consistently able to exceed this expectation. We’ve been around the block (many times, in fact), so we’re able to “get it right” the first time and more quickly, without having to double- and triple-check our approach with colleagues. In other words, our experience saves clients both time and money by eliminating the need to (a) review countless drafts, (b) fix mistakes and run numerous redlines, (c) field endless questions from junior associates who, despite being eager, are less likely to have the legal experience or business acumen to get it done on the first go around, and (d) schedule unnecessary conference calls in order to review objectives with various levels of counsel. When you consider the added cost of staffing associates on a matter – their learning curve and the supervision they require – the end result is often a higher than necessary legal bill for a routine legal matter. OGCs do the work themselves, leveraging experience from more sophisticated matters to save clients from unnecessary billable time.
- A Business-First Approach
Besides fueling efficiency, experience has honed our business acumen and approach to legal issues. Because we’ve spent significant time both in-house and in private practice, we understand the business side of a transaction – including operational, strategic and industry factors – and the impact that these elements have on the telescope through which we review a contract. As former in-house counsel, we are trained to look beyond the four corners of an agreement and evaluate the business implications of each and every revision we make to a document, even with respect to seemingly innocuous “boilerplate” provisions. Junior attorneys typically lack the experience to weigh in on business issues or even to consider the impact that simple changes to a contract can have on other aspects of the client’s business.
- Skilled Problem Solving
We’ve advised companies of all sizes, across many industries, and at all stages of growth. We’ve worked with founders/CEOs, GCs, heads of various business functions, as well as boards of directors, investors and other key stakeholders. We understand that client service is built on clear communication, professionalism, and the ability to provide sound judgment and practiced advice. For instance, we know not to say “no” without having other viable options at the ready that can support our clients’ tactical goals while also mitigating risk. Clients expect and deserve a lawyer who is not only knowledgeable about the law, but who is also a trusted analytical and strategic advisor.
Besides knowing that my clients are satisfied, I enjoy my work as an OGC because it allows me to collaborate on many distinctive and interesting areas of practice – both the sexy, complicated transactions and the so-called “boring stuff.” Essentially, I have the opportunity to act as a GC for a variety of clients, whether as their de facto GC or in support of an existing legal department. My clients are amazing; and I value the partnership and trust relationships I’ve built. And, on a more personal level, being an OGC (vs. an in-house GC or conventional law firm partner) gives me the autonomy to find the right work-life balance for me.
We believe everyone needs an OGC, because experience matters.
Kristin Kreuder brings over 25 years of legal and business experience in both public and private corporations and in major NYC law firms. Kristin handles a wide range of legal matters, including mergers and acquisitions; commercial transactions; technology, media, licensing and sponsorship; capital markets, venture capital and private equity transactions; and a variety of general corporate and governance matters. In a recent webinar, “The OGC: A New Budgeting Strategy for Legal,” she offers a first-hand account of what it means to be an OGC, including the types of engagements our team handles and what sets them apart from other legal services options.
This publication should not be construed as legal advice or a legal opinion on any specific facts or circumstances not an offer to represent you. It is not intended to create, and receipt does not constitute, an attorney-client relationship. The contents are intended for general informational purposes only, and you are urged to consult your attorney concerning any particular situation and any specific legal questions you may have. Pursuant to applicable rules of professional conduct, portions of this publication may constitute Attorney Advertising.