Fractional General Counsel: A Fresh Approach

Oct 15th, 2018

We all know that large corporations employ in-house legal departments with a staff of attorneys devoted entirely to dealing with the company’s legal, compliance, and HR issues. These businesses benefit from having a dedicated team to handle these matters—so that the rest of the company doesn’t have to think about it. When an employment dispute arises? “Hand it off to the Legal Department”. Client non-payment? “Legal department”. Just received a demand letter alleging intellectual property infringement? “Send it to Legal”.

But what about the rest of us?

What if small and mid-sized businesses could reap the numerous benefits of having dedicated legal counsel too? Would that added level of professional assistance make their lives easier, and their businesses run better as well?

We think the answer is an emphatic yes. With our Fractional General Counsel Program, we advise businesses in many sectors (from construction, to software and data, to medical) on a wide variety of business, HR, and legal matters. These clients do not want or need a full-time attorney on staff—nor the price tag that comes with it)—but still want to benefit from having on-call, go-to legal counsel who knows their unique business situation, tolerance for risk, and budget. When these businesses spend less time worrying about legal challenges and more time focusing on their craft, they inevitably see better results.

Why It Works

The biggest obstacle to a healthy attorney-client relationship always boils down to money. Clients hesitate to pick up the phone and call their attorney—wondering whether this question is really worth the 0.1 or 0.2 billable hours they will be charged. “Perhaps I should wait to see if it becomes a bigger issue?” they reason. Or, instead they wave it off altogether, thinking “maybe it’ll resolve all on its own.” One of the worst situations—and the one we’ve found can have the most disastrous consequences—is when a client opts to simply “Google it” or use a low-cost ‘form database’ online in an attempt to fix the problem with a do-it-yourself solution. Of course, these “solutions” often make matters much worse. Usually, the attorney is the last call after all other avenues have been exhausted, and the problem has metastasized into a full-blown catastrophe.

All of this goes away, however, if a client already knows what the costs will be to call or email their attorney; what their monthly legal expense will be, based on the fixed budget they chose. In fact, what actually happens is that they are encouraged to consult their attorney more often—especially on the little things. When the attorney is more deeply involved in the daily operations of the business, he can provide more effective, meaningful guidance. In fact, he goes from being a cost center, to a valued team member.

How It Works

Fractional General Counsel allows you to establish a fixed legal budget on your terms. No more hourly rates. No more bills for a phone call, or for reviewing an email. Instead, you get direct access to an attorney when you need him. On-demand.

We offer several different price points and packages, each with a reduced effective rate (meaning, you save hundreds from what you’d be paying at a standard hourly rate). Each monthly package includes dedicated time each week, with unused time rolling over to the next. And, if you do end up needing to engage us for hourly work outside of your package, you’ll receive a discounted hourly rate.

Why It’s Better

Using a fractional general counsel makes financial sense for the following reasons:

  • More predictability around ongoing legal costs, allowing the company to budget more accurately
  • Less anxiety about calling the attorney to discuss routine matters
  • More focus on risk mitigation and prevention, so that legal issues do not get out of hand
  • Discounts on related services included with the agreed-upon arrangement
  • You’ll still get the professional guidance of an experienced attorney, but without the cost of a full-time executive-level employee, including salary, bonus, and benefits.

Our firm delivers custom-tailored representation to meet each unique client’s needs, and it often includes the following areas:

Business Management

  • Corporate Formation
  • Strategic Planning
  • Leasing and Construction Contracts
  • Real Estate Purchase Agreements

Regulatory & Administrative Matters

  • Licensing and Regulatory Matters
  • Permitting
  • Department of Labor Audits
  • Unemployment Claims
  • IRS Employee Classification Audits
  • Equal Employment Opportunity Commission Claims

Employment Matters

  • Employee Compensation
  • Discrimination/Harassment Complaints
  • Employee Handbook Review
  • Severance Agreements
  • Employee Onboarding, Discipline, and Termination
  • Employment Agreements

Client & Vendor Relations

  • Client and Vendor Relations
  • Draft and Review Contracts
  • Debt-Collection Matters (including construction liens)
  • Assistance with Creditors
  • Demand Letters and other Legal Correspondence

If you’re interested in exploring whether Fractional General Counsel might be right for you and your business, give us a call today for a free consultation and discovery session.