Legal Officers have quite important roles and functions, especially for various forms of business entities, because company operations are highly dependent on licensing and other legal authorities. The shifting of licensing documents, contracts, letters and memos are the driving force behind the company’s operations. Without an industrial permit document, the factory machinery will certainly not turn. Without direction and legal advice from the Legal Officer, company directors will walk in a dark room without lighting. Almost all matters related to the running of the company are legal, both internal and external.
Internally, the Legal Officer has an important functional role because generally they are directly under the board of directors – the directors’ expert staff. This position makes it easy for the Legal Officer to coordinate with almost all parts of the internal company – marketing, accounting, internal audit and HRD. This position gives the Legal Officer a strategic role, because he can access almost all information about the company. The advantage is that this strategic position is an alarm that can immediately detect any legal problems within the company, so there is no need to wait a long time to be flushed.
Externally, the Legal Officer is a bridge of cooperation between companies and parties outside the company, both government and private. To ensure that company permits are fulfilled, the Legal Officer must list these permits and prepare a concept for submission to government agencies. To ensure company cooperation with private parties, for example business partners or vendors, Legal Officers need to prepare cooperation contracts and monitor them. These external tasks, in general, require almost all the legal skills of a Legal officer – drafting letters, contracts and legal opinions.
In the event of a legal dispute involving a company, a Legal Officer is also the company’s mainstay to stand at the front. A board of directors will ask the Legal Officer for advice on attack or defense. For simple disputes, such as layoffs in employment, a Legal Officer may only monitor remotely when the dispute is handled by the HRD department. However, if there is a violation of the company’s trademark rights, it is the duty of a Legal Officer to open the laptop and start typing subpoenas, conduct negotiations, and if necessary find a litigation lawyer to file a lawsuit.
Legal Officer Position in the Company’s Organizational Structure
The legal officer position in the company is generally determined by the size of the company. Small-scale companies generally don’t pay much attention to the legal aspects of their companies. This is related to the company budget for legal personnel costs. Small-scale companies usually only consider legal aspects if they really need them, and for that they usually hire professional legal consultants. The legal consultant will work on a project basis, and so will the payment for his services.
Medium-scale companies generally already have a Legal Officer, whose job is to cover almost all legal matters. In terms of company management, this is also related to the budget. Collecting all company legal matters and leaving it in the hands of a Legal Officer is considered more efficient. In addition, the legal work of mid-level companies is generally not that busy.
For large-scale companies, for example group companies, legal works are handled in a more detailed and distributed manner. Budget is not an obstacle factor. Large companies need to ensure that their business, which is also large in scale, is protected from all legal problems. This is related to the company’s business risk. Large-scale companies generally work on large projects with a large level of risk.
In large scale companies, legal work has been manageable distributed by a Legal Team. The team is usually led by a manager (Legal Manager). In a company with a more massive business scale, legal affairs are even led by a Division Head. To handle more specific legal work, the Legal Manager is assisted by a Legal Coordinator at the Supervisor level. Supervisors have the function of supervising law graduates with the Legal Staff level with job specifications:
• Monitor company licensing
• Create and monitor implementation of agreements / contracts
• Monitor the implementation of corporate projects and corporate actions
• Company legal dispute resolution
• Update national and local regulations, particularly those related to company licensing
Apart from the Legal Staff consisting of law graduates, the Legal Team is also assisted by the Legal Admin and Compliance Officer. Both are not required to have a law degree, but have an important role. Legal Admin functions to work on legal administration, and ensure all Legal Team work is well documented and neat. A Compliance Officer is a field officer who goes directly to government agencies to apply for permits, maintains good relations with the bureaucracy, and assists the Legal Team in updating technical licensing regulations.