At no time in our history have small to mid-size companies been more at risk. Managing Human Resources continues to become more complex. Companies are increasingly doing business across state lines, and with the progress of technology, virtual businesses are on the rise. Corporate governance is becoming stricter, even for privately held companies. So how can you protect your business without spending half your budget on legal fees?

You could hire an in-house attorney to handle your legal affairs and compliance. It's convenient, but expensive. In order to attract a competent attorney, you'll have to pay a hefty salary and benefits package. Add to that the fact that one in-house attorney cannot handle all the issues that come up in a business on a daily basis.

You could pay a mid-size or large firm to handle the urgent issues; however, with hourly rates at all time highs, that's not a very cost-effective option either. And what about the day to day issues? It is too cost-prohibitive to have a large firm on retainer to answer simple questions.

t the law firm of ALSTON & ENGELHAUPT, PLLC we have the solution - outside counsel for an in-house counsel price. Our services are affordable and offer you the flexibility to structure your Legal and Human Resources Department the way you want to.

The services we offer fall under several categories. Let us help you make your company better!

  1. Human Resources Services:
    • Draft documents used by HR for onboarding, such as payroll deduction authorizations, acknowledgments of receipt of benefits information and 401k information, drug-free workplace policies, background check authorizations, drug test authorizations, etc.
    • Draft handbooks for employees and management
    • Assist in drafting compensation policies
    • Review any prior non-compete agreements for evaluation of potential hires
    • Draft Section 125 plan and the documentation to notify employees of their rights and responsibilities under the plan
    • Training of HR professionals and legal professionals to handle HR compliance
    • Training management and HR professionals in discrimination and harassment issues
    • Conducting investigations of discrimination and harassment claims
    • Prepare FMLA policies and procedures and draft responses or prepare sample responses
    • Review posted items to ensure compliance with state law
    • Advise on and prepare policies and procedures for jury duty, bereavement leave, voting, voluntary leave, etc.
  2. General Corporate Services:
    • Draft "template" contracts to use as employment contracts, non-disclosure agreements, master subcontractor agreements, etc.
    • Review contracts from vendors and clients and advise on changes and/or negotiate changes
    • Work with insurance and benefits broker to implement appropriate coverage
    • Assist with registering the business in foreign jurisdictions
    • Assist with applying for H-1B visas
    • Serve as agent for foreign corporations that hire locals and need I-9s reviewed and completed (most notaries won't do it)
    • Serve as registered agent for foreign corporations for service of process
    • Draft demand letters for collection matters and handle initial negotiation then refer case for filin
  3. "General Counsel" function:
    • Remain on retainer for the company to answer day to day legal questions that arise
    • Advise on sensitive issues such as employment, tax, immigration, and other legal areas
    • Monitor and advise regarding ICE, DOL, and/or TWC audits
    • Advise on OSHA compliance
    • Set up the structure for a Legal Department and assist in evaluating potential Legal Department hires
    • Review legal issues involved with doing business in multiple states and/or online
    • Business planning
  4. Back-up and/or Temporary Counsel:
    • Assist the existing Legal Department with overflow work
    • Handle special projects and issues that are outside of the specialty of the internal counsel
    • Assist the company when internal counsel is on leave
  5. Compliance:
    • Regular compliance audits for benefits enrollment, I-9 forms, H-1B visa public access files, employment files, W-4s, drug screening/background check results and authorization
  6. Litigation Management:
    • Supervise collection of discovery and protecting data
    • Coordinate with outside litigation counsel and monitor their activity, billing, etc.
    • Prepare and assist with implementation of a document retention policy
    • Train management on how to handle notifications of litigation
  7. Additional Services:
    • Notary services
    • Proofread of legal and non-legal documents
    • Legal and non-legal research
    • Draft non-legal documents such as brochures, newsletters, web copy, etc.
    • Implement effective filing systems based on the company's needs.

For more information about business law in Fort Bend County, Harris County, Galveston County and Brazoria County including Sugar Land, Missouri City, Stafford, Richmond, Rosenberg, Fresno, Clear Lake, League City, Webster, Friendswood, Pearland, and the Houston metropolitan area, or if you require a business law attorney, please contact us.