General Counsel refers to the senior in-house lawyer of a business. This is typically a regular employee of the corporation.
A general counsel is the chief lawyer of a legal department, usually in a corporation or government department. The term is most used in the United States. The status and prominence of the general counsel has grown much over the past 10 years as is evidenced by the large number of lawyers who come into the role from private practice.
Duhaime Legal Dictionary
The senior lawyer of a corporation.
This is normally a full-time employee of the corporation although some corporations contract this position out to a lawyer with a private firm.
Most large companies have a team of in-house staff lawyers headed by a general counsel. This department, reporting to their board of directors, manages all legal services such as real property transactions, mergers and acquisitions, contracts and litigation although the latter is usually contracted-out to private law firms retained near the Court where the claim has been filed.
A lawyer at the head of a legal department (as of a corporation or government agency)
The chief attorney for a corporation, who is paid usually full time for legal services. Attorneys who work only for one business are "house counsel."