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PJ Harari (left) and Gigi Birchfield of Major, Lindsey & Africa.

The exponential growth of the Silicon Beach tech scene has not only changed the landscape of the Los Angeles area’s business community, but has also created a significant opportunity for in-house legal talent as these companies engage with firms to aid and guide their growth. Though the COVID-19 pandemic has admittedly upended the hiring landscape for many companies, strategic GC hiring has continued for many tech startups even amid the current uncertain environment. Indeed, these hires may prove more critical than ever as companies navigate new challenges posed by the pandemic, including regulatory and compliance, labor, and privacy issues.

Often, the most significant factor that can swing the balance in favor of onboarding a tech startup’s first GC is, simply, efficiency of legal spend. When companies reach the conclusion that it makes more financial and logistical sense to bring on an internal legal hire, rather than continue to engage with an outside firm. The point at which companies reach this conclusion depends on the industry and life cycle—but when this determination is reached, it’s likely to assume that a GC search will soon be underway.

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