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Chief Legal Officer: Job Duties & Responsibilities

Running a business has its challenges, from daily operations to big transitions within an organization. But what happens when problems occur with employees? The result can be a lengthy legal battle resulting in litigation. Not only do companies end up losing an abundance of resources such as time, cost, and manpower, concerns with employees also affect the organization at large. Such problems often result in decreased morale and motivation throughout the organization, and lower retention rates. A Chief Legal Officer is able to navigate the complexities involved with managing employees within an organization.

What is a Chief Legal Officer?

A Chief Legal Officer is typically a lawyer that is dedicated to handling the legal needs of a business. With this broad description, Chief Legal Officers require a solid understanding of the business and their goals, business models, and future ambitions. This ensures that legal decisions are always made with the company’s needs and goals.

What Does a Chief Legal Officer Do?

A Chief Legal Officer assists companies in ironing out common workplace issues within an organization, whether the role is more employee, or business related, depends on the nature of the company and their specific needs. Some common issues that warrant the involvement of a Chief Legal Officer may include:

  • Lack of employee policies;
  • Poorly crafted employment contracts, if any;
  • Lack of an employment law and human resource infrastructure;
  • Inconsistency in how policies are applied;
  • Poor communication and reporting channels; and
  • Lack of a designated employee relations personnel.

Why should a company hire a Chief Legal Officer?

Some companies delay seeking help, or the advice of a legal professional, until it is too late. While the intentions of doing so may be to save on legal fees and try to “get by”, does it really lead to savings? When it comes to legal problems, being reactive compared to proactive can lead to substantially higher costs, and even worse, damage your company’s reputation. A Chief Legal Officer can assist with reducing the risks of litigation and ensure that the company’s documents and policies adhere to all relevant legislation, such as the Employment Standards Act.

A Chief Legal Officer provides companies with the peace of mind of knowing that their legal problems are being handled without the worry of high unexpected legal costs. They also understand your problems on a deeper level; rather than focusing on the current issue at hand, a Chief Legal Officer understands your company to the core and always keeps your company’s bottom line in mind when providing advice.

Duties and Responsibilities of a Chief Legal Officer

A Chief Legal Officer makes it easier for companies to monitor and identify problematic areas before things go wrong. Many employers are unaware of the varied functions of a Chief Legal Officer, which includes competency in various areas of the business that the Officer takes on in their role. This can include advice on:

  • Hiring and onboarding;
  • Terminations and severance packages;
  • Performance reviews and management;
  • Policy handbooks and policy compliance;
  • Human rights and disability accommodation; and
  • Contract and agreement drafting and reviews.

Having a Chief Legal Officer on deck who understands the ins and outs of the business provides companies with the assurance that legal problems are being anticipated before issues arise, allowing companies to be proactive and potentially avoid the high costs associated with legal disputes, and even worse, litigation.

Achkar Law Chief Legal Officer (CLO) Program

Being proactive when it comes to legal matters within an organization can avoid the costs of litigation – where issues are addressed prior to reaching the litigation stage, as well as avoid mass new operational procedures to avoid future legal problems. Tackling these issues in advance can put businesses in a better position to avoid these legal problems from the beginning.

Run your business with confidence by having one of our experienced and skilled labour lawyers, acting as your Chief Legal Officer on deck, at a low cost compared to traditional legal models. Our program will allow you to be proactive and avoid costly legal battles down the line.

Having access to thorough and in-depth legal assistance gives you the peace of mind that you are covered. Legal issues are rarely black and white, and having a deep understanding of the external and internal factors affecting your business can play a vital role in the advice provided. As such, having a dedicated lawyer puts your mind at ease, knowing that your unique case is being considered in the legal advice you are receiving.

To learn more about our CLO Program, click here.

Contact Us

If you are an employer who is looking for full-service support or a dedicated CLO at a lower cost than traditional legal models, visit our CLO program page for our strategic solutions. You may also contact us at +1(800)771-7882 or email us at [email protected], and we would be happy to discuss how we can help.