A subsidiary governance framework enables multinational corporations to manage their various legal entities prudently and responsibly. Implementing a strong subsidiary management framework can help prevent costly financial and reputational damage to the corporation’s brand identity as well as damage to their good standing in the marketplace.
Corporate entities are often complex and structured in very difficult ways that magnify the burden of compliance with federal regulations. Often, the corporate counsel departments that manage the legal aspects of these various entities are resource-lite and tasked with other responsibilities to the corporation.
Corporate counsel feel the pressure of their responsibilities
According to the 2022 In-House Counsel Compensation & Career Survey, which was conducted by The Counsel Network and the CCCA, over 50% of surveyed corporate counselors have responsibilities that go above and beyond maintaining corporate compliance.
A corporate counselor’s primary mandate is to provide legal services to individual employees of a corporation as well as legal counsel to protect the interests of the company as a whole. As part of their mandate, a corporate counselor’s day to day duties can include any of the following:
Thorough legal research
Contract evaluations and analyses
Property law assessments
Collective bargaining agreements
Negotiations with government regulators
Additionally, corporate counselor services may be required to:
Consult with accountants or auditors to review corporate tax filings
Prepare and review company documents for mergers and acquisitions
Draft contracts for the leasing of equipment for the corporation
Sit in on corporate meetings to discuss official governance policies
Majority of in-house counselors burdened by stress
Another study was conducted by the Canadian Corporate Counsel Association and Mondaq. They surveyed over 460 in-house legal professionals across Canada. According to the findings, 61% of chief legal officers and general counsel experience higher levels of stress and anxiety. This is largely due to the onus on their shoulders for the entity’s corporate compliance.
The numbers are even more concerning in publicly listed companies. The study found that 75% of general counsel representing public firms admit to recurring experiences of stress.
Help your corporate counsel reduce their stress by simplifying their workloads. Ensure your legal department has the resources to conduct proper entity management. If you’re being represented by outside counsel, request a meeting if there are gaps in the deliverables. Make an honest effort to better understand the situation. Perhaps resources were stretched very thin, a clerical oversight was made, or another unexpected reason. Don’t rush to make a bad judgment call without knowing all the facts.
Ensuring your corporate counsel is de-stressed isn’t just the moral thing to do; it also makes great business sense. Legal resources ensure quality and consistency in the entity management workflow. These are the necessary ingredients for accurate minute book records, vital documents should an audit be conducted on your business.
Tips to help corporate counsel simplify their workloads
Mindfulness, focus, and avoiding distractions are all ubiquitous best practices to help people in all professions improve their productivity. Corporate counsel benefit from these same approaches, but here are some specific ways to improve productivity in the legal department.
Improve time management skills
The high-stress environment of subsidiary management and corporate counsel requires legal professionals to operate with a high performance mindset. Time management is a vital skill to fulfill the needs of the corporate entity and avoid succumbing to the anxiety of all that work.
A time efficient subsidiary management solution automatically tracks all important dates related to contract negotiations or expirations and helps in-house counsel prioritize their tasks. They can adopt a work-back approach in their schedules, using those dates as the markers on the calendar. Tasks can be assigned in order of priority based on their relevance to the overall deliverables that must be implemented by those end dates.
Transparent communication with clients and colleagues
Upfront communication with clients and colleagues means the process is always moving forward. Any approvals or signatures to move a task along in the production pipeline are easily acquired by keeping all parties in the loop.
With a subsidiary management platform, all communications regarding corporate records are simple and straightforward. Prompts for signatures or reviews of corporate records are sent to the appropriate recipients, and, provided they have authorized access to the account, they can review those records at their own convenience. This saves your in-house counsel the time and stress of chasing people down to get important answers.
Modern minute book recordkeeping organizes all corporate documents
Finally, adopting a more modern approach to minute book recordkeeping eliminates most of the timely and stressful tasks of clerical work. As a corporate counselor, imagine the feeling of stress lifted off your shoulders knowing that there’s no risk any of your corporate entity’s official records will be lost or misplaced. Modern technology makes that hypothetical feeling a reality.
Using subsidiary management clouds, you can upload all corporate minute books into a secure platform that’s backed by biometric and hardware key authentication. Only the corporate officers and directors granted access to the account can view the records, ensuring all information remains as secure as it is convenient to access. There are also built-in integrations with e-signature solutions, allowing your legal team to gain required signatory approvals in minutes instead of days or weeks.
Help make your corporate counselors’ lives easier and more fulfilling. Join the MinuteBox revolution so your legal team can fall in love with subsidiary management all over again.