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Do CEOs generally hire employment contract lawyers for contract review and/or negotiation? What about other C-level executives?

If yes, at which point on the corporate ladder is it typical for an employee to hire such a lawyer?

A concrete example: When the employee wants to negotiate a severance package during the hiring phase, but is not at an executive level yet.

closed as primarily opinion-based by gnat, Mister Positive, Snow, JasonJ, Masked Man Oct 5 '17 at 13:53

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    To be perfectly clear: you're considering bringing a contract lawyer to your negotiation when that is entirely atypical for your level? You're going to need to hire him at least twice then because the first thing the company will do is scrap the meeting and call their own lawyer. And they may or may not actually invite you back for a second attempt. – Lilienthal Oct 5 '17 at 6:55
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    Whenever you think that the amount of money the lawyer will make you will exceed their fees. – CodesInChaos Oct 5 '17 at 11:05
  • @JoeStrazzere I'm aware but I'm not sure what the OP is talking about here, hence my comment. And when you're talking about actual contracts (rather than offers), most companies won't let you walk out the door with them unsigned. – Lilienthal Oct 5 '17 at 13:00
  • @JoeStrazzere It's the distinction between a contract (which has legal value) and a simple summary of job conditions/benefits. In most EU countries such a contract constitutes a legally binding commitment by the company to hire the candidate and no hiring manager will let you walk out with it unless you've signed it. Actual employment contracts in the US are rare so I don't know how they're handled there. – Lilienthal Oct 5 '17 at 14:10
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    @Lilienthal I was allowed to take the contract home to review when I lived/worked in the UK - and would have simply walked out of anywhere that wouldn't let me do otherwise as that's simple duress. – HorusKol Oct 5 '17 at 22:02
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Bear in mind that executives employing a contract lawyer will pay for that service themselves. I guess that if the lawyer is especially good, they'll get the company to pay for it.

But, it's a cost vs. value thing. If someone can afford a contract lawyer and feels that there's a concrete benefit to having one, then I don't see why anyone of any level can't employ their services.

Granted, it'll look really odd for anyone under executive level to do this though.

For people under executive level who have questions, it seems more appropriate to employ the services of a lawyer to take a look over the contract on your behalf and offer advice on negotiations without directly being involved in the hiring process.

  • Also if that lawyer is "too" good, or the company too shady the result could be no contract getting signed in which case the prospective CEO would be 100% on the hook for those fees. – IDrinkandIKnowThings Oct 5 '17 at 15:12
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Do CEOs generally hire employment contract lawyers for contract review and/or negotiation? What about other C-level executives?

Many CEOs have an agent and a lawyer to help them with contract negotiations. Some other C-level executives do the same.

Typically, it depends on the size of the company and the complexity of the contract and benefit package. The larger the company and benefits, the more likely it makes sense to pay others to help review the contract and offer advice.

If yes, at which point on the corporate ladder is it typical for an employee to hire such a lawyer?

There's no magic point where it makes sense to pay the kind of money required to get counsel. For some VP jobs, it might. For entry-level jobs it probably doesn't.

And there are different levels of contract reviews. It might be very inexpensive to have the family lawyer quickly look over your contract to see if any red flags appear. It would be more expensive to have a contract negotiation specialist review an offer and hold your hand through the negotiation process.

It's a personal decision you would have to make, weighing the costs versus the potential benefits.

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