Last year, Atlanta-based Ionic Security, after years of researching and developing its data protection technology, was getting more customers by the day and mulling an initial public offering. So it hired its first-ever general counsel, lawyer Robert Ball. “You need a lawyer internally who really understands the business at an everyday level, which is really hard to do with an outside law firm,” says Ball.

Experts say that Ionic’s reasons for hiring a GC—rapid growth and the possibility of an IPO—are all good ones. Other reasons to get in-house help include the threat of litigation, concerns over industry regulation or a plan to embark on an acquisition strategy.

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