Why Utilize Fractional or Outside General Counsel Services
The traditional model of hiring an outside law firm or full-time in-house counsel often does not work for many new entrepreneurs or growing businesses. Small business owners discover that neither option is cost-effective or efficient. Some larger companies realize that they need additional support, but they do not want to retain another full-time attorney or pay expensive hourly rates for additional services by outside counsel. Instead of ignoring the need for on-going legal counsel or attempting a DIY approach to legal matters, business owners can have the best benefits of an in-house attorney without the high cost of hiring a full-time employee.
What Is Fractional or Outside General Counsel?
Fractional or Outside General Counsel provide experienced in-house legal assistance to small or medium sized businesses on an agreed upon contract basis. While they may perform some or all of the duties that an in-house attorney would perform, fractional or outside general counsel are not an employee of the company and without the attendant overhead of an employee. By utilizing fractional or outside general counsel, small and medium sized businesses can more economically receive the benefit of in-house counsel that knows their business, at an agreed upon fixed rate and duration, whether it be for one day per month, one week per month, or something different.
The Advantages of Hiring Fractional or Outside General Counsel
Businesses can enjoy the following advantages by retaining fractional or outside General Counsel services:
1. Allows The General Counsel To Learn Your Business
Adding fractional legal counsel to your team means you and your management team can develop a relationship with your outside general counsel through regular meetings, whether on-site, via video-conference or by phone. The fractional legal counsel learns about your business, your goals, and your team to help you grow your company and develop legal strategies that work for your company. Knowing your business allows the outside general counsel to be most effective and responsive to the developing needs of the business.
Utilizing Fractional or Outside General Counsel Services is much more cost-effective than hiring permanent or full-time in-house counsel, which costs include salary, benefits, and overhead. Those employee costs can put a strain on the finances of small companies which are looking to control their costs while maintaining growth. Further, in most cases, utilizing fractional or outside general counsel is far more cost efficient than going exclusively to outside law firms for legal advice and services.
Hiring fractional or outside general counsel services allows companies to be flexible as they do not have to make any long-term commitments to an individual or a position, while still maintaining continuity because they know and understand your business. In the event business needs change, the company can revise or alter its relationship with the fractional or outside general counsel in accordance with the terms of their contract.
4. Allows The Business To Focus On The Business
Legal and risk issues can be extremely complicated and time-consuming affairs. In the absence of available and cost-effective legal resources, business owners and executives often try and navigate legal issues. No matter how accomplished the executives may be, they are not trained to handle such issues. Their core competency lies in executing business tasks. Utilizing fractional or outside general counsel will take the burden off their shoulders. They can concentrate their energies towards managing the enterprise and improving its performance.
5. Provides Access To Professional Advice and Solutions On A Range Of Issues
In-house counsel have a wide range of business and legal experience. This experience yields proactive identification of legal issues and potential solutions to help the business perform. In-house counsel will identify legal issues for your team early so that you are not reacting to problems after the fact. Simply put, your in-house legal advisor helps your company to avoid problems in the first place. Further, since the fractional or outside general counsel knows your business, it does not merely provide situational or project-specific advice but instead can provide comprehensive advice based on the entire set of business considerations and legal questions at issue.