Corporate Lawyers... yes you guessed it are the guys in charge of the legality of commercial transactions from household names such as Tesco, Barclays and and Virgin, to smaller privately held or local businesses and investment funds. These super-brains sit behind the scenes advising businesses on their legal rights and duties. The difference between these guys and other lawyers is that corporate lawyers are less opponents and more facilitators. They are, in the wise words of Bernstein, "the handmaidens of the deal"[1 ]. There are unlikely to be underdogs, wronged parties or fierce courtroom battles (sit down Erin Brockovich, this career isn't for you!)
Corporate Lawyers can work in a firm or in-house counsel for businesses. Some also work in investment banking or teaching law. There are different fields of corporate law which vary depending on the law firm, geographically, or the individual person. Smaller corporate law firms are involved with more short-term jobs such as real estate transactions, whereas larger corporate lawyers are likely to spend more time on negotiating a single business transaction, mergers and acquisitions (M&A).
Key responsibilities and skills include:
- Researching contract law, tax law, accounting, securities law, bankruptcy, intellectual property rights, licensing, zoning laws, and other regulations relating to a specific area of business;
- Work will in team-oriented environment (unlike trial law);
- Understanding clients needs;
- Analytical mind and excellent communication skills, both written and oral;
- Strong negotiation skills.