Tech Leaders: What to Look for in External General Counsel


Co-authored by Anthony Bekker, Chris Spillman and Alison Berryman

At Biztech Lawyers, we’re attuned to the intricate demands that tech leaders and general counsels face. Maneuvering through complex legal landscapes while seamlessly integrating external legal expertise poses an ongoing challenge. We transcend the traditional legal service provider role; we aspire to be the trusted ally of tech general counsels and leaders. With this commitment, we explore the critical aspects that tech company counsels and leaders value in external legal collaborations. Dive into the experiences of our AU Managing Director, Anthony Bekker, during his tenure as a tech leader for deeper insights.

Our team comprises seasoned professionals who’ve transitioned from in-house leadership roles to external legal experts, specializing in tech. This unique perspective equips us with invaluable insights into what tech general counsels seek in external legal partnerships.

Comfortable with uncertainty

Tech companies often find themselves in turbulent situations where the unexpected is the norm. General counsels require external lawyers who are comfortable with uncertainty and can offer proactive advice. They value legal partners who can anticipate potential issues and propose solutions before they escalate. Furthermore, general counsels appreciate lawyers who engage in open dialogue and act as trusted advisors throughout the deal, rather than mere executors. “Cookie cutter” solutions are rarely sufficient to deal with these more complicated projects.

An extensive network

Tech companies operate in a global and dynamic market that requires diverse and specialised skills. GCs are looking for external lawyers who can bring in a good network of experts and resources to support them in different geographies and areas. External lawyers need to be able to put together and manage the right team with the right skill sets for each project, a little like bringing the Avengers together to defend Earth.

Deep customer insight

In the fast-paced tech industry, legal expertise alone doesn’t suffice. Tech leaders and general counsels value legal experts who comprehend their industry’s unique challenges, objectives, and culture. We provide pragmatic, hands-on advice aligned with the tech venture’s ethos and risk tolerance. Our profound understanding of a tech venture’s goals, operations, and strategic vision enables us to deliver tailored solutions that cater to specific needs.

Ability to assemble teams appropriately

While tech companies acknowledge the value of young associates on substantial deals, they also prioritize receiving high-quality work. Tech leaders seek legal partners who can oversee teams without micromanaging, ensuring associates are diligent, efficient, quick learners, and socially adept. We introduce associates to clients, elucidating their roles and responsibilities to instil confidence.

Skilled at project management

Tech companies demand legal partners who adeptly manage technical project aspects, identifying issues, taking initiative, and solving problems without awaiting instructions. The ideal legal partner acts as a proactive project “champion,” effectively communicating and coordinating with stakeholders, keeping the client informed as necessary.

Why Biztech Lawyers

Serving as a legal partner for a tech company goes beyond legal expertise. It demands comprehensive legal knowledge, pragmatic issue resolution, the grit to propel deals forward, and organizational skills for effective project management. Above all, it revolves around understanding and addressing the unique needs of tech clients—an expertise often lacking in legal partners unfamiliar with the tech industry.

At Biztech Lawyers, we prioritize hiring legal experts with in-house tech sector experience, embodying these qualities. Our commitment ensures clients receive legal support extending beyond conventional service. We’re not just legal partners; we’re strategic allies dedicated to your success.

In need of legal support from a tech startup lawyer? Biztech Lawyers is a multi-award-winning law firm, known for fuelling and protecting tech innovation worldwide. Get in touch now to see how we can help.

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Anthony Bekker
Founder | Managing Director - APAC
Anthony Bekker founded Biztech Lawyers after leading both legal and operations at e-commerce marketing unicorn Rokt - helping grow it 10x from Sydney, to Singapore, the US and then Europe.

Anthony loves helping technology companies realise their global ambitions and solve their most complex problems; bringing a practical and highly commercial approach to legal matters. That approach is born of a breadth of experience helping hundreds of startups and scaleups, stints in strategy consulting and banking as well as an INSEAD MBA. Anthony began his career at Mallesons Stephen Jaques and became dual-qualified in the UK while undertaking in-house stints at BT the OFT.

Anthony is Biztech Lawyers’ Managing Director for APAC. As a tech-centric law firm we use an array of legal technology to make legal processes more efficient, allowing clients to grow as painlessly as possible. Our global offerings are also an opportunity to propel the world’s most innovative companies to reach international markets. We’re your growth partners.
While Biztech Lawyers has used reasonable care and skill in compiling the content of this article. we make no warranty as to its accuracy or completeness. This article is only intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter and not intended to be specific to the reader’s circumstances. This article is not intended to be comprehensive, and it does not constitute and must not be relied on as legal advice and does not create a client-solicitor relationship between any user or reader and Biztech Lawyers. We accept no responsibility for any loss which may arise from reliance on the information contained in the article. You should undertake your own research and to seek professional advice before making any decisions or relying on the information provided.

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