Leverage the Benefits of On-Demand General Counsel Services for your Business

Leverage the Benefits of On-Demand General Counsel Services for your Business
Posted by   Bill Stone Apr 5, 2022

A perennial concern for businesses of all sizes is minding the bottom line. Now, more than ever, in the face of rising interest rates and a turbulent stock market, companies are focused on controlling expenses, including their legal spend. Meanwhile, traditional legal models continue to reveal their limitations with respect to cost and efficiency, driving clients to seek more innovative and cost-effective legal solutions.For over two decades, the on-demand general counsel model has been the right choice for a wide range of companies – from startups to large multinationals. Since 2002, Outside GC has been a leader in this field; and today, we are the nation’s leading partner-only provider of fractional general counsel services.If you are considering a new approach to legal services for your business, here are 5 key attributes of the outside general counsel model that make it worthy of your consideration:

Value-driven services
The inherent value of on-demand general counsel services is clearest when measured against traditional legal service options: (a) engaging law firm counsel or (b) hiring a full-time, in-house lawyer. First, in comparison to services provided by law firm attorneys with similar levels of experience, the hourly rate of the part-time GC model is typically a fraction of the cost. Outside GC’s lawyers, for example, bill at less than one-third of the prevailing hourly rate of large firms in our markets. However, hourly rate is just part of the equation.The time it takes to complete a task and the number of lawyers who are involved in the project also drive cost. Most on-demand GCs are seasoned lawyers with substantial and pertinent industry experience. They typically handle their own work, without involving a team of lawyers. The resulting efficiency, of both rate and project completion time, results in a marked reduction of cost and optimal value for the client. Finally, unlike law firms, outsourced general counsel service firms rarely have billable hour targets to meet, which means there is no pressure to “pad” hours or overwork a deal. 

Similarly, on-demand counsel can be more cost effective than hiring a full-time in-house attorney, particularly if you are facing budget constraints or you simply do not anticipate enough work to keep a full-time lawyer busy. With an on-demand attorney, you get only what you need, and pay for exactly what you get.

Practical, business-centric advice
In-house lawyers are trained to approach legal issues differently than law firm attorneys. Their work is driven by the senior management team, and it requires an astute understanding of the company’s core business objectives. As such, in-house lawyers are adept at working alongside management teams, providing practical risk assessments, industry benchmarks and other strategic advice. This approach differs considerably from the generally “academic” approach taken by law firm attorneys who have never walked in the shoes of their clients.Experienced in-house lawyers also have an appreciable understanding of the day-to-day business issues (e.g., managing a staff, balancing a budget and hitting quarterly revenue targets) which can compete with larger organizational goals. This business acumen defines the services of an on-demand GC, enabling a quicker turnaround and responsiveness not typically delivered by traditional law firm attorneys.

Flexible, customized offerings
Flexibility is a defining feature of the fractional general counsel model, with customizable services to meet the different, and often, changing needs of any company. At Outside GC, for example, our services can be purely on-demand (hourly), project-based or arranged to fill a short-term, de facto general counsel role.Start-ups and early stage companies typically engage a part-time GC to handle their day-to-day legal issues, including commercial contracts, lease review, employment matters, and proactive risk management. For larger companies with an in-house legal staff, an on-demand attorney can provide overflow assistance when the internal team is stretched due to spikes in workload or leaves of absence, or subject matter experience that may not exist on the in-house team. As former in-house lawyers, outsourced GCs can jump on projects and integrate into teams with little to no oversight.

Well-Rounded Professionals
The best in-house lawyers have a solid mix of experience that comes from previous roles in both private practice and in-house. At Outside GC, we only hire lawyers with at least 10 years of combined experience as former GCs or senior in-house attorneys and prior practice with well-known law firms. The result is a legal advisor who can offer the valuable perspective typical of outside counsel, in addition to the keen business sense of an in-house executive.

Unique lawyer-client relationship
In a typical on-demand GC arrangement, clients work primarily with one lawyer, rather than the leveraged partner/associate/paralegal model utilized in traditional firms. This close working relationship enables a part-time GC to gain valuable insight about the company and build relationships with key players on the management team. In some instances, outsourced lawyers are able to work on site with a client, if needed, allowing them to function more like adjunct members of the company’s legal department, available for quick questions in the hallway or lunches in the cafeteria. Depending on the size of the on-demand general counsel firm, clients may also gain access to a team of lawyers offering different skill sets. At Outside GC, our growing team of 100+ attorneys has experience across a wide range of legal fields and industries, which means our clients have access to the knowledge base of 100+ seasoned lawyers.

In light of the substantial benefits that an on-demand GC can offer, it is simply good business sense to consider hiring an outsourced lawyer to handle your company’s day-to-day legal work. For more information about OGC’s services, please email us at [email protected] or 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.

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