House Counsel Definition and Legal Meaning

On this page, you'll find the legal definition and meaning of House Counsel, written in plain English, along with examples of how it is used.

What is House Counsel?

(n) House Counsel is the Attorney who represents a person or entity in a particular case or legal process in the court and does the work connected to that specific issue. A House Counsel is not an employee of the entity like a General Counsel.

History and Meaning of House Counsel

House Counsel is a term that refers to an attorney who represents a person or entity in a specific case or legal process in court. This type of attorney is not an employee of the entity like a General Counsel. The term House Counsel is often used interchangeably with in-house counsel, staff counsel, corporate counsel, or institutional counsel.

The concept of House Counsel dates back to the mid-19th century when companies and corporations began to hire their own lawyers to handle legal issues in-house. Previously, companies had relied on external law firms to handle legal matters. This shift towards in-house legal representation was fueled by the need for quicker and more efficient legal services, as well as cost savings.

Examples of House Counsel

  1. A multinational corporation hires an attorney to handle all legal work associated with the acquisition of a new business.
  2. A non-profit organization retains an attorney to defend against a lawsuit brought by a former employee.
  3. A tech startup hires an attorney to assist with obtaining patents for their intellectual property.
  4. A university hires an attorney to advise on compliance with Title IX regulations.
  5. A healthcare organization employs an attorney to handle patent infringement lawsuits related to their medical devices.

Legal Terms Similar to House Counsel

  1. In-House Counsel: In-house counsel is another term used to describe attorneys employed by organizations to provide legal services.
  2. Staff Counsel: Staff counsel refers to attorneys employed by insurance companies to handle litigation and other legal matters.
  3. Corporate Counsel: Corporate counsel is a similar term often used to describe in-house attorneys who represent corporations.
  4. Institutional Counsel: Institutional counsel refers to attorneys who work for universities, hospitals, and other large organizations providing legal services in-house.
  5. General Counsel: General Counsel refers to the highest-ranking in-house attorney at a corporation or organization, responsible for overseeing all legal affairs.