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General Counsel

General Counsel

You have your client’s back. We will always have yours.

Protecting Your Business

As a business owner, legal disputes involving breach of contract, employee issues, insurance claims, intellectual property, workplace safety, and so on have the potential to negatively impact your reputation and finances.  Large corporations minimize these risks by employing in-house counsel – an attorney (or group of attorneys) who help keep the company protected through education, customized contracts, resolving issues before the end up in the legal system, and being on standby to provide ongoing legal advice whenever an issue comes up. 

While it doesn’t make financial sense for most businesses to employ an in-house attorney, it is crucial to the success of the business that an experienced, trusted attorney is on standby when the need arises. Portuondo Law Firm provides these services to its clients, who range from tiny boutique shops to larger construction-based companies, through its General Counsel Program.

At Portuondo Law Firm, we have handled countless business and construction disputes. All too often, a client will come to us after the issue is already in motion and negatively impacting the business and its owner. These clients are anxious, stressed, and sometimes even desperate. We resolve the issue as well as the situation allows, but we also know that we could have prevented the issue from occurring in the first place if we had been retained sooner. 

Our general counsel clients enjoy the following benefits:

Answers

Have you ever had an issue come up and you are not sure if you are making the right choice? When you don’t have a trusted attorney on standby, you are more likely to roll the dice and hope you made the right decision. So many clients come to see us for the first time because of a small decision that ended up having a major impact. With Portuondo Law Firm on your side, you get straightforward answers to the everyday questions that come up for every business owner – we are just a phone or video call away!

Contract Review and Preparation

The contract is the foundation of any business transaction.  Whether you are a one-woman shop selling cookies or you manage hundreds of workers and erect buildings, a contract can make or break your business. 

By counting on internet services like LegalZoom or copy-pasting portions of another contract and presenting this to clients and vendors, you are exposing yourself to legal issues and financial hardship. As any attorney specializing in contracts will tell you, millions of dollars have been lost over one word. In one recent case, the Supreme Court of the United States made a multi-million dollar decision based on the use of…a comma! (Insert link to Oxford comma case here?). 

You have worked so hard to grow your business, make sure you protect your greatest asset by having us customize contracts for you.  You will enjoy the peace of mind that comes with knowing you and your business are protected. 

Think you don’t need a contract because you are dealing with a trusted friend or family member? Think again. We have sadly dealt with multiple issues where relationships were soured due to misunderstandings in business. A well-written contract can save your relationships with friends, family, and clients. Any relationship expert will tell you that clear-cut expectations, expressed at the beginning of a relationship, are the best way to avoid future conflict. A customized contract will protect all parties and help ensure a lasting, beneficial business relationship. 

Has someone presented a contract to you? Let us review it. Most contracts are written for the benefit of the person who paid the drafting attorney. If a contract is given to you, you can almost be sure it is written to favor the other party and not you. We will carefully study every detail and make sure you are protected. We will educate you on every risk involved in the contract, allowing you to go back to the table and negotiate a better deal for yourself or, if you prefer, we can do that for you.

Employee Training

Do you handle sensitive client information? Is one of your employees unknowingly exposing you to a lawsuit? Do all your employees truly understand what they can and can’t do under the law? We can educate you and your team on best practices, ensuring that the company is in compliance with the law and that proper procedures and record-keeping methods are understood and being utilized.

Confidence in Deal-Making

Running a business can be lonely. The burden of making every decision on your own can lead to burnout or, worse, expose you and your company to risk. With us on your side, you can make confident decisions knowing that you’ve discussed business opportunities with your counsel. Whether we operate in the background or sit with you at the negotiation table, Attorney Portuondo will employ her business background, years of lessons learned growing her own business, and legal experience to guide you with regard to new deals.

We Make It Easy

At Portuondo Law Firm, we understand that, as a business owner, time is money. While many attorneys cling to the past and refuse to join us in the 21st Century, we embrace technology and the many ways it makes life easier for our clients. When you work with us you will be e-signing documents from your smartphone, receiving text reminders for appointments, and you don’t even have to call us to schedule a call or a meeting

Employee Issues

Employees can be the best or the worst part of running a business. Fret not, we can make sure your employees understand what is expected of them and what they can expect from you. We prepare employee handbooks and, for the more tech savvy, we will even create a digital version. This allows your procedures to be updated on an ongoing basis, so you don’t have to spend weeks or even months training new staff. We will teach you how to document things in a way that allows your company to run on its own. Imagine taking days or even weeks of and your company running without you – it’s totally doable and we can help make it happen.

Like any other relationship, sometimes things go wrong with employees. For this reason, it is important that companies utilize non-disclosure and, when appropriate, non-compete agreements. These documents help protect your intellectual property, sensitive client information, trade secrets, and your client lists. We will customize these agreement so everyone is on the same page, helping minimize issues and litigation in the future.

Did you know that an independent contractor agreement doesn’t necessarily mean you have an independent contractor working for you? Federal employment law is very complex and the way you treat your staff is often more important than what your contracts say. Employment lawsuits get very expensive very fast and the law often favors the employee. Let us guide you in your hiring practices to avoid costly mistakes. 

Increased Profit & More Time Off

Feel like you are doing it all and have no time for yourself or your family? We get it because we have been there. But we have yet to meet a business owner who wants to work harder and not smarter. People go into business for two reasons – to make money and to have flexibility. Yet many find themselves working harder than ever and not seeing much growth. It doesn’t have to be this way!

Attorney Portuondo has a keen eye for spotting inefficiencies in a business. Prior to attending law school, she earned a masters degree in Management Information Systems while working full time on a world-wide ERP system implementation, allowing the corporation’s systems and employees to communicate seamlessly. This resulted in a multi-million dollar savings to the company. At the end of the project, she was transferred to operations where she managed $60 Million Dollars of pharmaceutical raw material around the world. She has carried this experience into Portuondo Law Firm and now you can benefit from it too. 

By employing her systems background, she can suggest systems, technology, and procedures that will reduce error, increase efficiency, reduce the need for staff, and increase accountability. The same automation that our clients love can be applied to your business and we can show you how. Ms. Portuondo has a passion for systems, business procedures, and automations, and is constantly educating herself to keep up with the latest advances in this area. This knowledge will help even the smallest business owner increase profit and gain back personal time. You can have a successful business and a personal life, and we can help you do it!

Help Growing Your Business and Brand

At Portuondo Law Firm, we don’t just want to protect your business, we want to help grow it! Watching our clients’ businesses grow and thrive brings us sincere pleasure and we believe in the notion of giving back. Consider us a resource when you don’t know where to go. Looking for an ideal client or referral source? Let us make an introduction to someone in our network! 

We are also constantly looking for ways to promote the businesses our clients own. We recently launched a video show featuring business owners and our clients get priority air time and event promotion for the episode. We are filming as you read this, contact us if you are interested in being a part of the fun!  

We also provide fun networking and educational events for our clients and those in our circle. We strongly believe that networking and growing your business should be fun. If you are doing what you love and having a good time, people will naturally gravitate towards you. As a result, your networking sphere and your business will grow organically. If you are interested in being a part of this, contact us today

Peace of Mind – A Message from Marisa

Perhaps the most important benefit of having general counsel is the peace of mind that comes with knowing you and your business are protected. When I first went out on my own, I was scared. I didn’t have a lot of money to invest and there was no safety net if I failed. I didn’t sleep for months! I understand the stress that comes with running a business because I have been there. When my clients talk to me about their problems, I empathize because more often than not, I have experienced the same insecurity, fear, and anxiety. 

There is nothing like knowing that someone has your back. I left a well-paying job working for insurance companies so that I could do what I loved – help people grow successful businesses and assist them in finding satisfaction. Happy business owners make more money, it’s a fact!

I tell my clients not to think of me only as their lawyer, but to consider me their partner in business. I will be there to help when things go wrong and to celebrate when success abounds. I will never lead you into a lawsuit for the sake of making a quick buck off you. When you are tempted to burn everything to the ground because you want justice (or worse, revenge), I will remind you there are better, more affordable, and less destructive ways to resolve your issues. When someone is threatening you and your livelihood, I will be your champion. I didn’t have someone to guide me or to hold my hand when I started my business, but you can.

I look forward to working with you in the future to grow your business and get your life back! Contact us today. 


You paid how much in car insurance last year?

In this video, attorney Portuondo discusses why having general counsel on your side is insurance for your business.