This study attempts to describe the role of the company law department within the company, its relation to company management and the employees who use the services of the company lawyers. It, furthermore, tries to explain that the legal advice is only one part of the operation of a legal department in a business enterprise. Other important aspects are the legal costs, organiza- tional questions and coordination problems within the department as well as the relationship of the company legal department with the other departments in the enterprise and, last but not least, the relationship between house counsel and outside counsel. The increasing volume of legislation and regulations in all industrialized -countries resulted in an increase in the number of company legal departments and company lawyers. All large companies now have their own company legal department. Therefore, it seems appropriate to attempt to describe some aspects relating to this part of the legal profession, which is relatively new, and which has developed differently from country to country.
The position of the company counsel and his relationship with the company and its em- ployees, his professional background and his relationship with the Bar are important subjects which require further study.
I. Role and Function of Company Lawyers.- II. Functions of the Company Law Department.- III. House Counsel versus Outside Counsel?.- IV. The Situation of Company Lawyers in Various Countries.- V. Internal Organization of the Legal Department.- VI. Administration.- VII. Selected Bibliography.