The Rise of the Fractional General Counsel

The Rise of the Fractional General Counsel

Companies are constantly seeking innovative solutions to enhance their legal operations and maintain a competitive edge. One such trend that has gained significant traction in recent years is the rise of the fractional general counsel. Traditionally, hiring a full-time, in-house general counsel was the norm for businesses seeking legal expertise. However, with many lawyers opting to move away from the traditional and move to a more flexible consulting model, this has given rise to a new offering – the fractional general counsel. This has emerged as a strategic solution to those who are in need of in-house legal support but are reticent to commit to a full time, permanent person on a significant salary.

Key Characteristics of Fractional General Counsel:

1. Cost-Effective: Hiring a full-time general counsel can be a significant financial commitment for many businesses, especially startups and small to medium-sized enterprises. The fractional general counsel allows companies to access high-level legal expertise without the associated costs of a full-time GC.

2. Flexibility and Scalability: Fractional general counsel provides businesses with the flexibility to scale legal services based on their current needs. Whether a company is facing a critical legal issue or undergoing a period of rapid expansion, fractional general counsel can adapt to the evolving requirements of the business.

3. Diverse Expertise: Businesses often encounter a wide range of legal challenges, from contract negotiations and employment issues to regulation and intellectual property matters. A fractional general counsel brings a diverse set of skills and experiences, allowing companies to tap into a broad spectrum of legal expertise.

4. Trusted Adviser: A fractional general counsel operates as a strategic partner rather than a traditional service provider. The resource is integrated into the business and understands the workings of the company. This can be a lot more effective than having an external provider who provides support but are not embedded into the business.


The rise of the fractional general counsel marks a significant shift in how businesses approach legal services. This innovative model provides companies with cost-effective, flexible, and strategic legal support, aligning with the dynamic nature of the modern business environment. As more businesses recognise the advantages of fractional general counsel, this trend is likely to continue shaping the legal landscape.


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