• Ric Armstrong

The Role of In-House Counsel for Small Businesses


At Armstrong The Law Firm, P.C. we provide small and medium-sized businesses with the same executive-level legal resources as their larger competitors via our unique practice model: Fractional General Counsel, or Frac GC®. This system enables smaller businesses to have access to legal services in all areas of their business, at a cost that is far more affordable than hiring an in-house lawyer.


The role of the general counsel in a business depends upon a number of factors about the client, such as the size of the company, the industry where it operates, even the states or countries where it operates. A manufacturing company needs different things from its general counsel than a service company and large companies may make more demands on their general counsels than small ones.


The following are tasks that many general counsel are called upon to complete:


  • Ensure the Business Has an Adequate Compliance Program in Place

  • Design the Structure of the In-House Legal Department

  • Control Legal Costs

  • Identify and Assess Risk and Risk Management Programs

  • Design a Crisis Management Program

  • Conduct Oversight of Outside Counsel

  • Manage Litigation

  • Develop and Maintain Good Working Relationships with Senior Management

  • Review the Business’s Licensing Practices

  • Keep Informed of the Requirements of a Multi-Jurisdictional Practice

  • Establish A Record Retention Policy

Considering the growing complexity of modern business, the general counsel’s most important role is often that of a manager of a major set of risks faced by the company. A general counsel has to be more than just a legal technician who tries to guess which business strategies will pass muster with the courts. A good general counsel brings more than just good lawyering to the job; the general counsel adds value to the business.


Accordingly, a good general counsel provides high-quality service at the most reasonable cost in a user-friendly way while scrupulously maintaining an unassailable record for integrity and ethical behavior. Is it any wonder that the positions are so difficult to fill?


Source: Association of Corporate Counsel