What is Fractional General Counsel?
Updated: Apr 2, 2021
Fractional business services are often confused with 'outsourcing'. It's so much more than that. Unlike outsourced services, fractional business professionals become true partners and extensions of your organization. In fact, fractional business services are more akin to hiring a part-time professional, except without the costs of an in-house employee like benefits and taxes.
Fractional general counsel divides his or her time between multiple companies. They may work for one company two days per week and another company three days per week. Or, they may work a set number of hours each month for several companies. Fractional general counsel can work for companies on a long-term basis or work on a project-basis, or serve temporarily while the company searches for a full-time professional to fill the role. The beauty of the fractional general counsel is the flexibility of the engagement. Everything can be customized - the numbers of hours each month, the cost basis (e.g. fixed fee of flat rate), and the length of the engagement (single project or ongoing partnership).
In addition to helping your organization navigate the quagmire of local, state, and federal regulatory compliance, and solving the day-to-day legal and business problems, the benefits of fractional legal services are numerous.
Here's a list of 10 perks organizations enjoy when they retain fractional legal counsel:
1. Affordability. The #1 benefit is the affordability of legal services. As the attorney's time is shared by multiple clients, each client pays significantly less than if they hired an in-house attorney or retained a traditional hourly-fee attorney.
2. Customized Legal Services. Unlike mere outsourcing, your fractional general counsel knows and understands your company and its mission. By becoming a genuine partner and extension to your operations, they are able to cater their time and services to the unique needs of your organization. You can tell what they need to focus on, or you can ask them to use their expertise to identify where to focus their attention.
3. Budgeting. As fractional general counsel typically works on a set-fee basis, your organization can budget for professional services more accurately - no more surprise legal bills!
4. Reliability. Every fractional general counsel is a licensed attorney. By relying on their legal expertise, your organization can keep up to date and ensure compliance with local, state, and federal laws. Fractional general counsel can also improve your commercial law compliance by reviewing and professionally negotiating your contracts and other legal documents. Never miss something hidden in the 'fine print' again!
5. Independence. Unlike in-house employees and senior members of the management team, the fractional general counsel has no personal agenda. Their opinions are rooted in legal reasoning and sound business judgment, and give advice free from bias or 'office politics.' By bringing your fractional general counsel to Board of Directors and other C-Suite meetings, you ensure that you have a truly objective, honest, and trustworthy voice at the table.
6. Connections. Good professionals know other good professionals. By retaining a fractional general counsel, you can add their vetted and trustworthy professional network to your own. This can also lead to discounted services in other professions such as insurance and finance.
7. Focus. Using fractional general counsel allows you to focus on the day-to-day operations of your organization. As your general counsel takes care of regulatory compliance, contracts, and legal matters, you can focus on keeping your ship sailing in the right direction.
8. Availability. Fractional general counsel allows you to enjoy on-demand access to senior legal executives. This is helpful in those emergency situations like employment law or workplace safety issues that are beyond the reach of your HR department.
9. Greater Expertise. By serving multiple companies, the fractional general counsel necessarily serves a wider range of practice areas. This gives your organization access to experienced legal advice on a wider range of topics, including employment law, insurance, civil litigation, government contract protests, intellectual property, taxes, workplace safety, and data/privacy law. This can save you from having to spend extra on an outside attorney for issues that can often fall outside of the typical in-house general counsel expertise.
10. Trouble-Free Uncoupling. Uncoupling from an employee can be messy (and expensive) if not properly executed. While fractional general counsel can guide you through employment issues and risk-mitigation strategies, you never have to worry about their termination. As they're a contracted professional, you can simply terminate the engagement without worrying about lawsuits, unemployment insurance claims, NDAs, or severance packages.
Out-House Attorneys, LLC. is the pre-eminent fractional legal service. You can enjoy all ten of these fractional professional perks (and more) for significantly less than the cost of an in-house attorney salary or the hourly fees of outside counsel. Our fees are modest, our engagement options are flexible, and our attorneys are experienced industry leaders. Don't believe us? Check out our pricing and engagement options here.
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