A corporate lawyer is a type of lawyer who mainly deals with corporate and commercial law as their primary area of specialization. Usually, their services are acquired by companies and to assist with their day-to-day business interactions. In Saudi Arabia a typical corporate lawyer undertakes at least six core functions (preparation of contracts, mergers and acquisitions, corporate restructuring, corporate governance, venture capital, and corporate secretarial) for a company as described below:
Preparation of contracts; a corporate lawyer will draft new contracts, review existing contracts, negotiate, and prepare legally binding contracts or agreements on behalf of their client. A corporate lawyer representing a company (or the client) is fully authorized to be the face of the company in entering contractual obligations.
Mergers and acquisitions (M&A); a corporate lawyer’s services are key in the process of merging companies or an acquisition transaction. They mainly conduct due diligence, prepare reports, and also flag any potential risks. They negotiate, draft, review, and do all that is necessary to facilitate a merger or an acquisition between companies.
Corporate restructuring: a corporate lawyer provides innovative solutions to clients involved in distressed company situations, allowing clients to enhance value, minimize costs and properly position themselves for the future.
Corporate governance: this goes to the heart of how a corporation operates and is really at the core of the corporation. Thus, the more traditional areas of corporate law, such as mergers and acquisitions, litigation, intellectual property, and other key decisions made by the corporation are all under the corporate governance umbrella.
Venture capital (VC): corporate lawyers in this area are specialized attorneys who provide legal services and advice to VC firms about fund formation, liquidation, fundraising, due diligence, regulatory compliance, investment strategies, portfolio company management, intellectual property, tax issues, litigation, and dispute resolution.
Corporate secretarial: this would be, for example, acting as a company secretary and maintaining statutory registers, holding general meetings, and license registrations.
It is recommended that every company in Saudi Arabia hire a corporate lawyer who will take charge of all the legal needs of a company. A company that does not acquire the services of a corporate lawyer exposes itself to legal challenges. The consequences of such legal challenges are so grave that they can lead to huge amounts of losses or lawsuits and worse still, liquidation.
If you’re an entrepreneur in Saudi Arabia, be sure to hire a corporate lawyer before you do something that’s going to get you into trouble. For example, if you’re forming a partnership, entering into a third-party agreement, taking money from investors, or putting a product out there that might create some liability, hiring a lawyer to protect your rights should be a high priority.