Fractional General Counsel: A Right-Sized Solution for Startups and SMEs
The fractional executive ecosystem is thriving, and for good reason. Companies understand and appreciate the value that experienced legal and business executives can provide, particularly when resources are limited during the early and growth stages of the business lifecycle. OGC has been a leader in this space for over two decades, serving companies across a range of industries by leveraging the significant talent and experience of former GCs and in-house counsel to support clients’ strategic initiatives and day-to-day legal needs.
Fractional GCs can help startup companies and SMEs with a number of critical needs, including:
1. Risk Mitigation
Most founders and leadership teams are laser-focused on growing the business, with limited attention being given to the legal pitfalls inherent in some of their earliest decisions (how to structure the business, protecting valuable IP, and equity compensation plans, to name a few). Even with knowledge of these risks, many companies may simply lack the resources needed to hire a full-time in-house lawyer with the requisite experience or engage expensive law firm counsel. Because fractional GCs are a part-time resource, most companies can afford to hire them earlier on – gaining access to critical legal and industry knowledge that will not only help drive their growth, but also, proactively manage risk.
2. Actionable Legal Advice
In-house lawyers are trained to approach legal issues differently, by working collaboratively with internal business teams to develop creative, strategic solutions that balance a company’s day-to-day needs (e.g., managing a staff, balancing a budget, and hitting quarterly revenue targets) with larger organization priorities. Law firms tend to advise from a more theoretical perspective given the inherent time and cost constraints of their model. As former in-house lawyers, fractional GCs bring a business-first approach to their work, resulting in more practical, thoughtful, and judgement-level legal advice.
The best leaders are those who know when to seek input from colleagues and advisors. Simply put, collaboration fuels innovation. Whether brainstorming new ideas, discussing tactical options, or simply seeking a second set of eyes, founders and business leaders have much to gain by collaborating with an experienced and trusted legal advisor.
Fractional GC engagements can be customized to meet a client’s specific needs (# hours/week, remote/hybrid). While a law firm may be available 24/7, their costly rates and basic structure (training associates on client matters) tend to prohibit the creative problem-solving and trust relationships that emerge when a legal advisor is embedded within the company. With an OGC, you are essentially adding an in-house lawyer, but without the overhead of a full-time salary and benefits.
We encourage you to read more about the benefits of a fractional GC arrangement. OGC’s team of 100+ attorneys works with companies of all sizes and industries, providing part-time GC services tailored to the specific needs of each client. Through a strategic partnership with The CEO’s Right Hand, our clients also have access to fully customizable outsourced finance and HR service solutions. If you are interested in learning more, please contact us.
This publication should not be construed as legal advice or a legal opinion on any specific facts or circumstances not an offer to represent you. It is not intended to create, and receipt does not constitute, an attorney-client relationship. The contents are intended for general informational purposes only, and you are urged to consult your attorney concerning any particular situation and any specific legal questions you may have. Pursuant to applicable rules of professional conduct, portions of this publication may constitute Attorney Advertising.