After many years working in respected law firms, and nearly a decade as General Counsel in blue chip multi-nationals, I decided to start Nigel Smith Legal.
I provide outsourced in-house counsel services. Flexible, versatile assistance when in-house legal professionals and teams are under-resourced, or pressured due to staff absence or busy periods. Without the expense of adding a headcount and at cost effective rates.
My expertise is in providing sound, logical and plain language advisory services to business owners, managers, employees and in-house counsel on issues of a commercial, compliance, competition and consumer, intellectual property, employment/workplace, litigation, risk management & regulatory and nature.
I know first-hand the challenges in-house legal departments face in trying to “do more with less”. I’ve worked in-house and know how companies operate. From this, I think like an in-house lawyer. I speak the same language as in-house counsel and work collaboratively. I bring multi-faceted experience, commercial acumen and innate risk management thinking to business issues and challenges, understanding the balancing of commercial pressures and goals with long term business strategy and legal thoughtfulness.
My experience across different industries adds value in applying a clear and different lens to issues and risks.
My experience actually working in business helps me see business problems in a wider context rather than just “legal”.
How I work.
I build long term relationships with clients as their flexible external in-house resource.
The first step – I like to get to know you and the business. It is important to gain a solid understanding of the day-to-day legal issues that the business faces, and how the legal department works to handle those issues.
The next step is straight forward – I work with you embedded with the in-house team, part of the business, adding to the capability of the in-house legal department.
Depending on your needs I can provide assistance on an occasional or retainer basis. I can work remotely, where I am only a phone call, email, Skype or Facetime away. Alternatively, I can work from your offices as required. I am happy to discuss an engagement that suits your needs.
Importantly, when clients engage me they know who they’re getting – Nigel Smith. Work isn’t delegated to other lawyers or secondees.
Fees & charges.
I prefer to charge fixed fees, worked out up front so you know what the cost will be and can budget accordingly.
Generally, I charge clients a full day rate or monthly retainer, agreed at the outset before starting an engagement.
I have structured my practice in a way that allows me to keep overheads low and deliver services for exceptional value. For instance, my full day rate would typically only buy a few hours work from a Senior Associate at a mid-tier city law firm.
If you would prefer time charged billing I can oblige, but not before chatting to you about why I think a fixed fee might be better for you.
An initial discussion is always free.