Legal issues pop up for every business, but does your business need to hire a full-time, in-house attorney to handle them? For many enterprises, especially small businesses, sporadic legal needs don’t justify the cost of keeping a lawyer on staff all the time, and cost savings is one big reason “fractional legal counsel” is becoming so popular.

The premise behind “fractional legal counsel” is that you outsource your business’s legal work to an attorney or law firm. You pay them a set monthly fee to represent your ongoing legal interests. And you may choose to divide your work between highly specialized attorneys—such as intellectual property lawyers—to handle specific areas of law.

Fractional IP counsel, for instance, can handle your trademark registrations and (since you can lose trademark protection if you don’t police its usage) can also keep watch for any potential infringement.

Why else are businesses choosing fractional legal counsel?

Let’s say you notice an issue with an employee that you worry could escalate into a legal concern—but you’re not certain. Knowing attorney fees can add up quickly, you may be hesitant to call a lawyer to double-check your hunch. That small issue could quickly snowball, though, into bigger problems a lawyer could have foreseen and possibly avoided altogether.

With fractional legal counsel, you can pick up that phone at any time and know the lawyer will be on the other end. You can even keep your attorney periodically posted on happenings, forming the basis of a solid working relationship: The lawyer will knows the ins and outs of your business and can anticipate your legal needs.

With all the benefits of fractional legal counsel, it’s not surprising that the idea has increased in popularity in the past several years.

If you think fractional legal counsel may be a solution for your business, Send us a message (or call us at (314) 454-9100 today.


Scott’s practice is dedicated to assisting entrepreneurs, investors, emerging and established businesses with the unique and often challenging issues they meet throughout the formation and growth process: from entity formation, to the management of founder relationships and economics, to the protection of intellectual property, to the financing of growth and navigating securities law compliance. He assists clients as they continue to grow and develop, whether this involves merger and acquisition activities, international licensing and distribution arrangements or counseling of directors and officers.

Scott is chair of the firm’s Securities practice.  His practice is focused on advising a wide range of clients on SEC matters, securities transactions and corporate governance.  He represents issuers, investment banks / financial intermediaries and investors in financing transactions, including public offerings and private placements of equity and debt securities.