How Irene Liu advises GCs at rising expertise corporations

Because the chief monetary and authorized officer at Hopin, Irene Liu helped the neighborhood engagement firm broaden its product choices and develop from 250 to 1,100-plus workers in 40 nations.

In her prior place as SVP and common counsel at Checkr, Liu performed an essential position within the technology-driven background examine’s firm growth from 60 to greater than 600 workers.

Throughout each of these authorized chief roles that spanned a mixed six years, Liu negotiated and closed greater than 15 company transactions, together with M&A offers, financings, secondaries and investments.

These transactions, she mentioned, helped the businesses develop and obtain multi-billion greenback valuations.

Extra not too long ago, Liu determined to step again from holding a full-time authorized chief position so she may launch a consultancy at the beginning of 2023 known as Hypergrowth GC.

She mentioned this new endeavor permits her to make the most of her previous scaling expertise which additionally consists of in-house roles at Lookout and Blackberry to advise GCs, CEOs and different C-level executives at quickly increasing expertise corporations.

Liu not too long ago spoke with Authorized Dive about a few of the key suggestions she affords to authorized chiefs, the relevance of hypergrowth within the present financial local weather and different methods during which she is participating with executives about essential authorized matters.

Deal with gross sales

For GCs in corporations that aren’t in extremely regulated industries, Liu advises that their prime precedence needs to be spurring income and progress.

Headshot of Irene Liu, founder of Hypergrowth GC

Irene Liu

Permission granted by Irene Liu


Alongside these traces, she mentioned authorized chiefs ought to take steps to make sure the authorized division is just not seen as blocking or slowing down the gross sales course of.

“You do not need to cease the income engine, you need to be the propeller to the gross sales engine,” Liu mentioned.

At a minimal, she recommends GCs overview their Grasp Service Settlement (MSA) templates usually to ensure that their phrases are truthful and embrace market phrases. The aim of an train like that’s to attempt to restrict contracting redlines, Liu mentioned.

“When you can eradicate or at the least restrict redlines, you’ll be able to permit the gross sales workforce to run extra independently, which in flip permits the corporate to seize income extra shortly with out participating in extended negotiations between authorized groups,” she mentioned. 

“In that very same spirit, I’d suggest that industrial authorized groups construct out robust contract playbooks, easy-to-read buyer electronic mail templates, cowl letters, and FAQs to the MSA for each prospects and gross sales groups,” Liu mentioned. 

Work together with regulators

As for authorized chiefs in extremely regulated industries, Liu recommends they contemplate proactively participating with regulators. 

However earlier than they schedule or attend a authorities assembly, she mentioned GCs want to ensure to get their geese so as and repair any product compliance points that may catch the attention of a regulator.

“As a result of, in spite of everything, you’re going to proactively meet with regulators with the intention to introduce and showcase your organization in a optimistic gentle,” Liu mentioned.

For example, Liu highlighted how Checkr met with the Client Monetary Safety Bureau (CFPB) throughout her time on the firm to share that it was offering free background checks as a part of its mission to assist tens of millions of Individuals with prison backgrounds discover jobs.

She mentioned Checkr desired to point out its regulators the methods during which it was utilizing its product to impact optimistic societal change. The CFPB, in flip, listed Checkr on its web site with some details about its choices.

Sharing your organization’s mission helps regulators perceive your motivations and the way it may align with theirs, which then helps them relate to your objectives extra efficiently,” Liu mentioned.

“When engagement is completed early and proactively, it could additionally affect new insurance policies and packages and shield the corporate’s status,” she added. 

Hypergrowth on this economic system?

In the meantime, Liu mentioned some folks have requested her whether or not the idea of a Hypergrowth GC and related terminology have as a lot resonance in these unsure financial occasions which have sparked authorized division budget cuts

Whereas she known as these kinds of questions legitimate, Liu mentioned authorized chiefs ought to nonetheless have a progress mindset even amid an economic system that’s not as robust.

Nevertheless, she mentioned it is necessary for GCs to recollect hypergrowth might be pursued thoughtfully and effectively.

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