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Law & Legal Issues

What are the functions of a legal department in a company?

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September 25, 2011 8:12AM

Law department is responsible for providing legal services and advice to the company, its divisions and employees. The department office faces a great number of different legal matters. These matters include: business development, contract management, real estate transactions, customer claims against the company for product damages and defects, litigation, employment law, sales and leases matters, debt collection, bankruptcy, case prosecution, and much more. All these activities create the workflow of Legal department. If to look at the workflow in whole, the following main functions of the legal department can seen:

  • Providing legal advice and guidance
  • Prosecution of cases in courts and litigation management
  • Documentation preparation and drafting

Let's briefly consider each of these functions.

1. Providing legal advice and guidance

This is a core function of Legal department. During the company's everyday life, there are a lot of legal issues which require qualified advice from Lawyers and Legal Advisors. This is about giving advice for resolving such issues as sales, purchasing, customer support, partnership, licensing, and other. The implementation of the function is based on the following activities the department concerns:

  • Giving advice to the company, its divisions and employees on matters of law and legal protection
  • Keeping company activities in strict compliance with new legislation
  • Representing company in all meetings, conferences and public events

2. Prosecution of cases in courts and litigation management

Legal department represents and defends the company interests and its employees in courts and government bodies. The department initiates litigation in case of court examinations, and the legal staff members are responsible for creating and enforcing ordinances and gathering existing claims in favor of the company. This function is fulfilled by the following activities:

  • Preparation of protocols, claims and counter-claims to courts
  • Representation of company in courts
  • Protection of company's rights and interests in judicial sittings

3. Documentation preparation and drafting

This function concerns legal part of document management. Law department is responsible for drafting documents in forms which do not contradict or infringe existing legislation, both local and international (if company conducts oversees activities). The fulfillment of this function is based upon the following activities:

  • Creation of legal documentation requirements
  • Drafting and approving document layouts
  • Complying documentation with existing local/international agreements and legislation