Corporate law is the body of law that regulates how different stakeholders such as corporations, directors, shareholders and the community interact and relate to one another. Whether it’s negotiating business start-ups or the merger of multimillion-dollar firms, corporate attorneys are involved in the thick of it by providing counsel to businesses on the legal obligations and responsibilities that apply during such transactions. Corporate attorneys primarily work in corporations where they ensure the legality of all commercial transactions. A corporate litigator must possess vast knowledge of all statutory laws and regulations passed by a government’s legislature if they are to serve their clients diligently and effectively.
Corporate practice areas
Corporate lawyers go by many names. They are also referred to as in-house corporate counsel, chief legal officer, staff attorney or deputy general counsel. The sole objective of a corporate lawyer is to serve the interests of the company and not that of the owners or the directors. In-house counsels serve as internal advisers to businesses on legal issues revolving around intellectual property, contractual agreements, labor and employment terms as well as liability.
Counseling publicly listed firms
A publicly listed firm is that whose shares are traded on the stock exchange. To excel in their counseling role, corporate laws must be knowledgeable of all the statutes that govern publicly traded securities. Here, they will advise public companies on matters relating to the issuance of shares. Also, publicly held companies are required to disclose all information that could have a material effect on their earnings or the valuation of their stock. It is the duty of corporate lawyers to ensure matters such as public disclosure are conducted in accordance with the law.
Advising privately held firms
A majority of companies operate as privately held ventures. It is no wonder that such firms employ the highest number of corporate attorneys. Privately held companies have a myriad of legal needs such as those revolving around incorporation, credit acquisition, merger and acquisitions, dissolution and sell-offs, succession, treatment of employees, contract enforcement as well as tax matters. Depending on the size of the corporation, a firm could have one lawyer or a team of specialized corporate lawyers.
All in all, corporate lawyers help to define the environment in which corporations operate in and how they should conduct themselves in such environments.