First Lawyer at a Startup – How to Prevent a GC Hire Above You

First Lawyer

If you are the first lawyer at a startup, the time will come when the company may look to hire a GC. And that GC may end up being above you. How do you prevent this and advance your interests? The Lawyer Whisperer has some ideas:

“As the only lawyer in a mid-stage start-up (Director, Legal), what will happen if a GC is hired over me? Can I negotiate to leave with fully vested stock options? How do I protect myself? In today’s emerging growth market, executives are hiring their first lawyers earlier and earlier in the company’s lifecycle. Depending on the type of company, its stage, industry; and its legal issues, this lawyer’s profile may vary – from full fledged Chief Legal Officer/General Counsel to something lower in the legal executive pecking order….When contemplating their first legal hire, some executives pursue a strategy of hiring a “good for now” attorney, but as the company matures and a liquidity event looks bigger and brighter (a la IPO), they opt for a more seasoned attorney with GC…and ideally IPO experience, who they will hire over their existing lawyer.”

Read: As the only lawyer in a start up company, how to prevent a GC hire above you. at The Lawyer Whisperer

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