What Executives Need To Know about Fractional Legal Counsel
It’s hard to keep up with the latest in your industry, nevermind the innovations across other sectors, but this shift in the legal profession presents a huge opportunity for companies to better address their legal needs. We’ve put together this brief overview to bring you up to speed.
What is fractional legal counsel?
A generalist or specialist lawyer hired on a part-time, contractual basis to provide legal support and counsel for a company. A fractional lawyer might be hired to work on a special project, take on a surge in corporate legal work caused by recent growth, provide industry-specific legal advice to the executive team, assist with the operations within an in-house legal team, or act as a liaison between the company and external law firms.
Is this a new strategy?
No, but it is gaining popularity as executives grapple with uncertainty and the need to do more with less resources. Fractional in-house counsel offers executive teams the ability to address their legal needs in a cost-effective manner by hiring legal talent on a flexible, as-needed, basis.
How does a fractional role work within my existing team?
Similar to other fractional c-suite executives, fractional legal counsel will be embedded into your team and provide insights that are pertinent to your business because they will know and understand your company with an insiders’ perspective.
What kinds of companies are hiring fractional lawyers?
Fractional in-house counsel is a solution often sought out by companies that are growing rapidly and need dialled-in, on-demand legal support that can scale and adapt faster than hiring in-house counsel or working with external counsel. Some examples include rapidly scaling businesses, institutions that require specialised legal assistance for special projects, companies that have seasonally fluctuating contract volumes, and large companies that need additional legal support faster than what a law firm can offer.
What kinds of lawyers are available for fractional counsel roles?
A wide variety of corporate generalist and industry specialized lawyers. One significant advantage to using fractional counsel is that businesses can gain access to top-tier legal talent without having to commit to the high costs associated with hiring an experienced in-house lawyer or working with external counsel through a law firm. Goodlawyer typically recommends lawyers with 10+ years of experience for fractional counsel roles while paying special attention to practice area experience, industry expertise, and corporate culture fit.
How much does it cost to hire a Fractional Counsel Lawyer?
Fractional lawyers usually work on an hourly contract basis. In Canada, hourly rates can range from $100 to $500+ an hour depending on the lawyer’s experience and special expertise. Through Goodlawyer, it is possible to hire fractional counsel with 10+ years experience at approximately half their average hourly rate.
How would my team benefit from a fractional counsel lawyer?
Businesses that don't have sufficient in-house legal support often rely on their executives to handle legal issues, taking away valuable time and resources from their primary responsibilities. Hiring a fractional general counsel allows executives to focus on their core responsibilities while rightfully leaving legal matters in the hands of a legal professional.
How would my company benefit from fractional legal counsel?
Fractional counsel can help businesses clarify and prioritise their legal needs and get important legal work done that would be otherwise delayed, neglected, or inefficiently handled. Fractional lawyers have a unique perspective to offer by mixing their external experience with in-house understanding. They can assist with internal legal functions and implement best practices to mitigate risks and ensure legal compliance. Fractional counsel can also help businesses develop legal competencies by working alongside existing in-house legal teams providing guidance, insights, and fresh perspectives.
Where can I learn more?
We are always eager to discuss your unique company needs and the suitability of fractional counsel as a full service solution, or an addition to your company’s existing legal strategy.