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What is Fractional General Counsel?

In response to an ever changing world, frational services provide flexible and affordable expertise that meet your needs. Enter the Fractional GC. This arrangement employs an individual to effectively act as an in-house counsel, either on a retained fee or daily/weekly rate basis and is structured around the needs of the company. The GC might have experience getting a business to and through an IPO, seeing a start-up through each series of funding or seeing a company through litigious matters and are employed to accomplish defined goals or objectives. The length can be determined by the business but is typically on a part-time or flexible arrangement—the flexibility allows businesses to determine the arrangement. Of course, this works both ways; the GC can work on multiple projects and build a portfolio of clients.


A Fractional GC can provide high-quality legal services and at the same time works alongside companies and organizations to learn about their business. Often this involves replicating their experience working with various companies at the C-suite level. It’s an opportunity for those with in-house legal experience to leverage their expertise in an outside counsel role.

Fractional General Counsel vs General Counsel

The main difference between a Fractional GC and a GC is the cost and type of employment. The average base salary for a general counsel role in the US is $300,000. This is out of reach for many small companies and organizations. Also, General Counsel is an employee at the company while a Fractional General Counsel is freelance (treated as an independent contractor). This means that the added cost of benefits and time off is saved.

This means that fractional counsel can work on a much more ‘on-demand’ basis, which may work better for some companies who wish to bring in deep expertise to strategize, consult, and/or solve specific issues. Some companies opt for a Fractional Counsel because it gives them greater flexibility over employment terms, while maintaining a strong relationship between law and the C-suite. 

Is Fractional GC Right for Your Organization?

It's not so much a case of when a company needs a Fractional General Counsel, but if this is the right type of General Counsel for them. A Fractional GC is a legal option aimed at smaller companies or startups who need legal support but lack the financial backing for a full time GC. 

The Fractional General Counsel arrangement can be beneficial for all involved. It offers firm-based fees, predictable legal costs and increased business knowledge for the consumer and greater flexibility and work/life bala

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