The Problem: Existing Legal Service Models Do Not Meet the Needs of Today’s Businesses
Technology improvements have greatly reduced costs required for starting a scaling a new business. This means that small and medium-sized businesses can increasingly compete head-to-head with resource-rich companies. These larger companies build and maintain sophisticated legal teams to handle everyday business matters and these teams are fully engaged with the business strategies of their in-house clients.
In contrast, when a smaller company goes head-to-head with a large company on issues requiring legal review, outside counsel will be engaged to handle legal issues on a matter by matter basis. Even the most skilled and sophisticated outside counsel cannot hold the same level of knowledge and insight about the client's business issues as the larger company's in-house counsel. This mismatch puts smaller companies at a distinct disadvantage when dealing with larger companies. Moreover, lawyers working for law firms must ensure their efforts benefit not only their client, but also align with the business interests of their law firms. While the vast majority of lawyers certainly strive to maintain the highest ethical behavior, there can be no doubt that, in contrast to in-house lawyers, outside counsel's interests may not always align with the business interests of their clients.
Business leaders at small and mid-sized hire outside counsel to handle matters on an as-needed basis, but even the most talented outside counsel cannot provide the scope of representation provided by an in-house legal resource who is fully engaged with your business team. Moreover, when your lawyer's business is his legal business, his interests and risks likely color much of his advice and effort. Leadership of small and mid-sized companies might find themselves in between the proverbial "rock and a hard place" where they know that to successfully scale their business they must hire top quality legal counsel to handle their day-to-day affairs, but doing so will prevent them from addressing critical business matters needed to bring money in the door.
The Solution: Experienced In-House General and IP Counsel on an As-Needed Basis
The Lean Legal Team of Michael / Hutter offers a unique solution for small and mid-sized established businesses. We can set up a customized part-time general counsel relationship, one that gives clients the right amount of services at a reasonable and predictable monthly retainer. We can also charge you for standard matters on a flat fee basis. But, however we charge for our legal services you will know the amount in advance.
In addition to obtaining in-house counsel representation at a fraction of the cost of a full-time in-house legal resource, you will get a lawyer with both “Big Law” and and in-house legal experience — someone not only with the kind of legal credentials sought by the best law firms, but one who possesses the business experience to provide you with advice that is practical, pragmatic and communicated in language that business people can understand and act on. The Lean Legal Team's co-founders also provide advice from the vantage point of entrepreneurs and business owners, which includes educating clients about real business risk associated with a particular course of action.
We want our primary focus to be on minding your business, not ours. So we have chosen to establish a virtual law firm instead of the "marble and mahogany" model of the traditional law firm. This allows us to keep our overhead very low which, in turn, enables us to offer rates that are a fraction of what legal counsel of comparable experience charge today. This means no fancy offices or full-time assistants for us and that we leverage technology to enhance the quality of our representation without increasing the cost of bringing services to you. This means that you may have to leave us a voicemail instead of reaching a live receptionist, but we commit to returning your call and addressing your legal needs in a timely and efficient manner. We also keep our costs down by reducing the time we spend on collecting fees from our clients, so don't be surprised if we ask you to replenish your retainer regularly.
The Lean Legal Team Difference
The Lean Legal Team of Michael / Hutter offers a unique solution for small and mid-sized businesses. We can set up a customized fractional General Counsel or IP Counsel relationship that gives you the right amount of time for a reasonable and predictable monthly retainer. We can also address standard matters for on a flat fee basis. But, however we bill you, you will know the amount before we begin any work.
The Lean Legal Team of Michael / Hutter knows that our business will thrive only if your does. Like new customers, new clients are expensive to generate. Our model requires us to not only get, but also keep our clients for the long-term. Accordingly, we will work with you to develop a legal services plan that not only fits your budget, but that also provides you with protection for today that can be scaled into a broader representation as your business grows.