In our day-to-day business activities the problems and tasks of legal nature often arise. Solving these challenges and problems without timely legal assistance often makes them worse. In order to avoid it, it is recommended to seek advice of a counsel promptly. One should not rely on his own experience or experience of his friends and close people and entrust solution of your legal problems to professionals.
What is a legal subscriber-based service?
This is a comprehensive legal support for business (activity of an enterprise) regarding all legal issues arising in the course of business operations. Such legal support allows avoiding making rash decisions, reducing financial and commercial risks and resolving already existing problems.
It is easier and cheaper to entrust legal work of the firm to a counsel than to have him in the staff or to apply to a law firm, especially when it comes to legal services for small/medium businesses. There are several reasons.
In-house counsels are often able to solve only typical day-to-day problems which he works with all the time, and in case of extraordinary situations, such employee would be helpless, because he does not know where to find similar experience. Availability of a retainer is a guaranteed legal assistance at any time. You do not need to seek coordinates of a counsel in case of emergency, risking in a hurry to meet a nonprofessional person.
In case of providing legal services to a firm by a counsel, you are released from problems associated with the labor legislation: necessity to grant an in-house counsel paid vacation time, sick pay. If you need to give up services of a counsel, termination of a civil contract will be much easier than termination of an employment contract, you will avoid complexity and other payments related to dismissal. In addition, you do not need to equip office with additional office machines for an in-house counsel.
Services of counsels are not subject to VAT (the Tax Code of the Russian Federation Article 21, paragraph 6.13). Costs of services provided by a counsel reduce tax base of your enterprise under VAT and income tax. Upon payment of salaries to your in-house counsel all tax burden of payroll budget is now transferred by an enterprise to the budget and in case of payments to a counsel such deductions are absent. You simply transfer funds to the account of the Bar Association and the Bar Association makes tax accruals.
Variations of changes in costs of an enterprise for legal support depending on changes of load on the counsel (volume of work connected with legal services) become available. Application of such scheme of payments to the in-house counsel of the enterprise entails immediate dismissal of the latter on his own volition.
The cost of services paid to the counsel for conducting a client’s cases in court (representation of interests in court) according to the regulations of civil procedure law shall be compensated at the expense of a defeated party — this allows you to reduce legal expenses. It is impossible to impose salary of your in-house counsel on an adversary.
The counsel, implementing long legal support of the firm, becomes aware of cases and takes into account all nuances of your unique situation.
The counsels shall by law keep information received in secret from a client from any third parties. The counsel really values his professional reputation and has no right to disclose information received from a client, it is provided for by the Code of Professional Conduct for Counsels and violation of this rule is strictly punished. Thus, you will be completely protected against loss of confidential information.
No one can force the counsel to disclose information received from a client. If any other counsel (in-house counsel or counsel from legal company) is called to investigating authorities, prosecutor's office or court, under threat of criminal liability for refusal to testify, he will just have to tell what you have entrusted to him. The counsel is released from this obligation by the Constitution and legislation of the Russian Federation. The counsel cannot be interrogated as for circumstances which became known to him in connection with the provision of legal assistance.
Carrying out of inspections, examinations, searches and other activities in the office and residential premises of counsels, as well as carrying out of operative actions against the counsel, is possible only on the basis of a court decision.
The counsel’s powers are much wider than the lawyer’s powers. The counsel has access to the process of any court, upon presentation of his legal practicing certificate. He may represent your rights and interests in all governmental authorities. The counsel can study criminal cases of a client and conduct them and the lawyer does not have such powers (that’s why ordinary lawyers have the right to conduct only civil and administrative cases).
In case of your detention or employees of your company (director general, chief accountant and others) by police officers only the counsel has the right to intervene in the case immediately. The counsel (and only the counsel) has the right without any restrictions (with the exception of general rules) to visit prisoners in places of detention: prisons, investigation centers, corrective labor establishments, preliminary detention cells.
The counsel has the right to make legal requests to all organizations and governmental authorities and recipients of these legal requests shall respond and provide the counsel with copies of requested documents within the periods prescribed by the counsel. Such requests may be equivalent to judicial ones.
Presence of the counsel during inspections by law enforcement agencies, as well as during investigative proceedings allows developing the right legal position and taking action in a timely manner. These inspections are often carried out by forced penetration into the territory of a business entity, seizure of documents, examinations of officials, etc. The counsel, by virtue of his powers, prevents illegal actions by law enforcement agencies in respect to business entities.
The counsel is a highly qualified specialist. Not every counsel can merit such high rank. In order to gain access to the qualification examination it is necessary to receive higher education and at least two-year experience in legal profession. In addition, it is necessary to confirm qualification by passing a difficult exam, after which the counsel takes oath; he swears to protect the rights and interests of his clients honestly and in good faith. In case of unsuccessful attempt to pass the qualification exam, one is permitted to retake it no earlier than in one year.
Moreover, every year the counsel is obliged to take courses for raising qualification, attending seminars, subscribing for legal press and so on. Ordinary attorneys have no such regulatory obligations.
Bar Association keeps a wary eye of behavior of its members. If an ordinary attorney, for example, an employee of a law firm or in-house counsel at an enterprise, takes the liberty of a misdeed in relation to his client, maximum that the client can do is to terminate the contract and dismiss this careless specialist. In other words, an ordinary lawyer bears no responsibility for his work. At the same time, if the counsel commits an act that discredits his honor and dignity, derogates legal authority, will not perform or perform improperly his professional duties to a client, it will be the subject of disciplinary proceedings and the counsel may incur responsibility or even lose status of the counsel. Therefore, counsels value opinion and confidence of clients very much.
The counsel is a specialist whose professional duty is to guard interests of his client. It is determined not only by his inner convictions, but also by norms of the abovementioned Code. Article 9 of this document states that the counsel shall not act in violation of his client’s interests, take position in respect of the case, other than the position of his client, make public statements about guilt of his client when the client denies it, etc. The counsel can lose his status for violation of these rules.
The counsel cannot be bribed. The counsel is obliged by law to refuse in providing assistance to any third party whose interests may conflict with interests of his client. An ordinary lawyer cannot give such guarantee by virtue of law.