Business Law Impacts All Aspects of the Commercial World

The generic term “business law” covers every aspect of commercial interactions today. In its broadest sense, the term can be defined as the group of laws, regulations, and practices that apply to commercial entities such as companies, corporations, and partnerships. These statutory requirements involve the entire spectrum of interactions from forming a new enterprise, negotiating contracts, arranging financing, meeting all government requirements, and any other topic or activity that impacts, directly or indirectly, the operation of a business.

In this highly specialized area, the legal practitioner has to have a broad spectrum of knowledge in order to represent the interest of his or her commercial clients adequately. It is easiest to view this type of practice from the life cycle of a business operation to understand its scope.

Starting a New Enterprise

One of the most important aspects of business law is how to set up a new corporation or company. The law of corporations, local licensure requirements, as well as dealing with contracts for the space that the company will occupy, all require various legal formalities to be met even before the doors can open for the first customers. Employment laws for employees have to meet federal and state requirements.

Financing agreements are an essential part of the stage of the business cycle. Legal practitioners will negotiate with lenders, ensure that all forms are filed properly with the Federal, State, and Local authorities, and help establish the necessary record keeping that may be required for that particular operation.

Day-to-Day Transactions

Once things are up and running, business law attorneys will be involved in many daily transactions. Handling the negotiations of contracts and representing the client in various legal actions that may involve issues of breach of contract, liability, and statutory violations are just some of the matters where lawyers in this field may be called upon.

As the company grows, concerns involving secured transactions, securities (stocks and bonds), SEC filings, and other related subjects would also become part of a commercial lawyer’s practice. As governmental regulations continue to become more complex, making certain that a commercial client is in compliance requires an even higher level of diligence from practitioners in this legal field.

Changing or Merging the Operation

One of the most dynamic areas of business law today is that of mergers and acquisitions. It is difficult not to look at the financial news without learning about the latest buy-out, merger, or hostile take-over of one company by another. At the heart of this activity are the lawyers who represent the concerned parties. In addition to involving the transfer of ownership and financial arrangements, it is often necessary to obtain government approval to complete the deal. It is no wonder that specialists in this area of the legal profession are highly sought after for their expertise.

All aspects of 21st-century commercial enterprise involve the application and practice of business law. Navigating the complex legal waters is best accomplished by the retention of a competent, experienced counselor who understands the legal complexities of running a successful operation today.

Commercial Law – Payment of Commission – Commercial Agency Regulations – Commercial Agent

The case of Heirs of Paul Chevassus-Marche v Groupe Danone and Others (Case C-19/07) [2008], involved a determination on community laws relating to commercial agents. According to Article 7(2) of Council Directive (EEC) 86/653 (On the coordination of the laws of the member states relating to self-employed commercial agents) (“the Directive”):

“A commercial agent shall also be entitled to commission on transactions concluded during the period covered by the agency contract either where he was entrusted with a specific geographical area or group of customers… And where the transaction has been entered into with a customer belonging to that area or group…”.

Article 10 provides as follows:

“(1) The commission shall become due as soon as and to the extent that one of the following circumstances obtains:

(a) the principal has executed the transaction; or the principal should, according to his agreement with the third party, have executed the transaction; or…

(c) the third party has executed the transaction.

(2) The commission shall become due at the latest when the third party has executed his part of the transaction or should have done so if the principal had executed his part of the transaction, as he should have”.

In 1987, the first respondent in this case concluded an exclusive mandate with C. The applicants in this case were heirs to C’s estate. The exclusive mandate concerned the first respondent’s representation of C’s subsidiaries, namely the second and third respondents, in their dealings with the importers, wholesalers and retailers of their goods in a specific geographical area.

Before the termination of that contract, C requested payment of various sums. Such sums included commissions relating to purchases made by two companies established in his geographical area.

The requests for payment were refused on the ground that the purchases concerned had been made from central buying officers or dealers in metropolitan France, an area outside the control of the respondents, and without any action on C’s part.

C then brought an action concerning payment of commission.

The national court made a reference to the Court of Justice of the European Communities. The question concerned a request for a preliminary ruling on the interpretation of Article 7(2) of the Directive. The question referred by the national court was as to whether Article 7(2) of the directive was to be interpreted as meaning that:

“A commercial agent entrusted with a specific geographical area was entitled to commission where a commercial transaction between a third party and a customer belonging to that area had been concluded without any action, either direct or indirect, on the principal’s part”.

It was held as follows:

The court was of the opinion that

· Article 7(2) of the Directive had to be interpreted as meaning that a commercial agent entrusted with a specific geographical area did not have the right to a commission for transactions concluded by customers belonging to that area without any action, direct or indirect, on the part of the principal.

· Article 7(2) merely refers to any transactions concluded during the period covered by the agency contract. There is no requirement that those transactions had to be entered into with a customer belonging to a geographical area or a group of customers for whom the commercial agent was responsible.

· There is not an express requirement for action on the part of the principal, and there is no requirement for action on the part of the commercial agent.

· However, it should be noted that when considering Article 7(2) in conjunction with Article 10, the commercial agent’s right to commission arises either:

§ when the principal has (or should have) carried out his obligation; or

§ when the third party to the agency contract, namely, the customer, has (or should have) carried out his obligation.

· The presence of the principal in the transactions for which the commercial agent could claim commission was indispensable. It therefore followed that the commercial agent could claim commission. The commercial agent’s claim for commission could be made on the basis of a transaction only to the extent that the principal had acted, directly or indirectly, in the conclusion of that transaction.

· As a result, this meant that it was for the national court to establish:

“Whether or not the evidence before it, assessed in the light of the aim of protecting the commercial agent and of the obligation on the principal to act dutifully and in good faith, allowed it to establish the existence of such action, be that action of a legal nature”.

© RT COOPERS, 2008. This Briefing Note does not provide a comprehensive or complete statement of the law relating to the issues discussed nor does it constitute legal advice. It is intended only to highlight general issues. Specialist legal advice should always be sought in relation to particular circumstances.

Choosing Between Law Firms – How to Choose a Good Lawyer

Most people will require professional legal services from a lawyer at some point in their lives. This may be for buying or selling a house, writing a will or making a business contract. Any town or city with a few thousand residents or more will usually have numerous law firms to choose between, so how you decide who to trust in what may be an expensive process?

Firstly, a law firm should at least have the standard qualifications for practice in your country and be registered with the relevant regulatory body. For example, in the UK, this is the Solicitors Regulation Authority.

Find a specialist lawyer – if your needs are in an unusual or highly specialist field of law, you may require the services of a law firm that specializes in this area. The more niche the legal skills required, the further afield you may need to search for an expert lawyer. For example, if you run an IT company and require assistance with commercial litigation, any small town commercial litigation lawyer may be happy to help you with the case. However, if you widen your search to the nearest large city, you may be able to find one or more commercial lawyers that actually specialize in commercial law for IT. Such specialist skills may demand a higher fee, but the higher level of knowledge within your field could result in a more favourable outcome.

Get a quote – lengthy legal processes with uncertain outcomes may be difficult to quote for, but you will still be able to find out the hourly rate and if different firms have similar credentials, you may want to let price be the deciding factor. For some legal services, such as transfer of properties, you may be able to obtain a fixed quote.

Location – if you are likely to need to visit your lawyer on multiple occasions, you may want to choose one that is fairly close to your home or business in order to save time and expense on travel.

Ask questions – during an initial consultation (many law firms offer 1/2 free of charge), ask plenty of questions to get an idea of how expert the lawyer is in dealing with your kind of case. Does the law firm have someone available to answer all your questions and does the lawyer seem confident and knowledgeable?

Get recommendations – have any of your friends or family required this kind of legal help before? Discuss your needs with those around you unless they are highly personal. Even if a friend or family member has not needed this kind of support before, they may know someone who has. An unbiased recommendation can be much more powerful than what a lawyer says about his or herself.

Legal services are often required during stressful times, such as bereavement, moving home or legal disputes, so it is important to choose a lawyer that you are comfortable with to minimize potential for further stress. Following the tips above when choosing between law firms should help.

Protecting Your Business Through Commercial Litigation

Starting a business takes a lot of guts and, of course, money. Maintaining one needs good management, a cunning attitude, and one hell of a good luck. However, no matter how much caution you put to protect your business, you will find out that there are people who are full of trickery hidden up their sleeves. When you find yourself in such unfortunate circumstance, I believe commercial litigation is the wisest call.

Say, you find yourself trapped in the following scenarios: an associate who ran away with your money, a supplier who provided you with worse than sub-standard materials or ingredients, a partner who went away with half of your investors and built his own competing company. The list goes on. Thing is, you took all the risk in building a business. Sooner or later, those risks will come taunt you, and you will need damn good legal representation.

Okay, so maybe you can settle the issue or dispute without entering commercial litigation. You still need a brilliant lawyer to help you achieve that. It all depends on the kind of person you are. If you want a swift, diplomatic way out of your mess, you can ask your lawyer to resolve things through monetary settlement-that is, if you managed to catch the prick that tricked you. Now, if you’re the kind who wants more drama, (also, given that you already identified your culprit) you can go out and request a trial case leading you and your felon friend to commercial litigation.

Running a business is tough. And it is more than enough work dealing with people screwing you and your business around. You do not need that hassle when you are already up to your eyebrows trying to keep your business going. Get your lawyer to settle this mess-with instructions from you, of course. Commercial litigation is just like other legal trials. The only difference is that this directly affects you. Well, not only you, for that matter, but your business as well. And because it affects your business, it will affect other people too, depending on how big your business is and how large the damage done by this fraud (or whatever the offense is in your context).

If you decide to pursue commercial litigation, your lawyer must be competent enough to build a solid case against your suspect. Actually, brilliant lawyers don’t need to bring a commercial case in court. They can settle things without facing the bench-provided they are cunning, resourceful, and good negotiators. Of course, as mentioned above, it all depends in your preferred medium-backdoor negotiations or court trials.

Whatever medium you choose is up to you. However, I believe that commercial litigation is called for when your suspect is not swayed by just negotiations. You will not just let him or her walk away unpunished or without you properly compensated right? If court trials are the only way left, you and your legal party should be armed with your evidences and arguments. If you and your legal counsel are armed with enough cards, there is no way that scumbag who tricked you will ever get away.

Immigration Lawyers Can Help You Settle Down

Immigration is a very big topic in the United States. Depending on where you live and work, it can be a very heated debate for everyone involved. There are some people who believe that there are too many illegal immigrants in the country and that they should leave. There are others who feel like they should be assimilated into society since they have generations of relatives in the country. It is believed that many immigrants are invaluable because they are hard workers who have contributed to the economic growth of the country. There is even a small faction that believes that immigrants should be arrested, since they are illegal. There are a lot of different viewpoints that tend to change on a daily basis.

Most of these opinions are just from the people who are on the outside looking in. They do not reflect the thoughts and feelings of the actually people who are affected, which are the illegal immigrants. Unfortunately, even people who are here legally are affected by everything that is going on with immigration laws. While some states are working overtime to make life miserable for immigrants, others a looking the other way because immigrants perform a lot of useful jobs within these states.

For the most part, most people know that illegal immigrants will not be arrested for being in the country. So, it might be worth their while to research what can be done to make them permanent citizens. An immigration lawyer can help to get this done. Business lawyers and commercial lawyers cannot help in a situation like this. The person trying to gain citizenship should seek the services of someone who is knowledgeable about immigration law. If there are any little details that are added or taken away from law, an immigration lawyer will know how to handle this. He will know exactly what paperwork to fill out and when to get your paperwork filed on time. As a professional, he can tell you any other little particulars that you need to know to get your citizenship. Most importantly, he can tell you what rights are available to you now and later.

No one has to hire a lawyer to become a citizen. But it will most definitely make the process run much smoother if you know what you rights are and what steps you need to take in order to become a naturalized citizen of the United States. They can help you to deal with various governmental agencies in order to get your green card or immigration visa. If there is anything that you do not understand about the immigration process, your lawyer will be there to answer all of your questions.

Basically, you will have a reliable source to go to who will know exactly what needs to be done. No more relying on others for information that might not be clear or complete. What may have worked for others last year, might not work now. This is because immigration laws are always changing. An immigration lawyer will help you to understand the current immigration laws so that there are no kinks with your immigration status.

All in all, wading through the immigration process can be quite difficult if you are not certain about your rights and responsibilities. Get a lawyer and make this process smoother all around.