Different Kinds of Lawyers for Business

Most of the time when people think about lawyers they imagine the lawyers that are seen on television arguing back and forth in order to either prosecute or free a criminal who has created some type of heinous crime. However, criminal lawyers are not the only lawyers that are available. There are lawyers who specialize in just about every industry available. There are civil lawyers, entertainment lawyers and even dui lawyers. If you are ever in trouble and need the services of a lawyer, make sure that you get one who is skilled and trained in the area in which you need advice. For example, it really is not wise to get a general lawyer if you are trying to get a patent or a license. The following are just a few of the lawyers that practice within the business world.

Employment lawyers are required when you are having severe difficulties on the job. This is usually when a person is being harassed because of their sexual orientation, race, gender or disability. Unfortunately, these things happen. When they do, advise management that you are being harassed by fellow co-workers. When it is someone from management that is treating you unfairly, then take this matter to the Human Resource department within your company. Most companies will have policies that say that employees should never be discriminated against, no matter the reason. However, depending on the corporate environment, many companies do not enforce these policies. As a result employees are bullied or harassed, which makes the working environment hostile. However, get a lawyer if your working environment becomes hostile. He can help to get the situation taken care of.

Commercial lawyers are a necessity for any business that wants to remain profitable. A commercial lawyer can ensure that your business is running in an efficient manner. He will also make sure that your assets are property secured. He can also ensure that things such as vendor contracts are in order. Basically, any time that a company enters into a legally binding agreement, it should seek the services of an attorney.

Trademark lawyers handle all matters that deal with trademarks. It is their responsibility to counsel the client about their particular trademark. He should do the proper research and determine if your trademark is safe once you submit an application.

Corporate lawyers are there to handle all legal issues for one corporation. Depending on the size of the business, a corporation can have a whole legal team working within the company or just one person handling all legal matters. Usually anything that has to do with contracts, mergers, acquisitions or product liability will be handled by corporate lawyers.

All in all, there are many different types of lawyers that fill various needs. Although criminal lawyers are more prevalent that other types of legal professionals, this does not mean that they are not the only ones found. There are so many different areas of life in which people need legal advice. There is no way that one lawyer could every business questions that ever comes up. This is why legal professionals choose to become experts and specialize in certain areas of business. This is a good thing for business all around.

Telford Commercial Property Lawyer Warns Businesses To Check The Small Print Of Leases

A UK Commercial Property Lawyer warns tenants to seek professional advice before they enter into any rental agreement. Many landlords believe a commercial lease gives them the right to do anything they like.

“The drafting of the lease is the critical part of the deal and it’s crucial that tenants proceed with care. Some landlords run up costly maintenance work bills, assuming that their tenants will not have checked the details of their lease, and so will just automatically pay up. But tenants should take care to check the small print of their lease, because although the service charge clause may seem complicated, generally if it doesn’t allow for something to be done, it can’t be done.”

“Your professional adviser should also be able to help ensure your lease does not include catch-all clauses that will cover the landlord, and that it limits the amount that can be paid to any management company to an agreed percentage.”

The landlord can only recover the cost of the services which is set out in the lease, and even then, only if the right procedure has been followed.

“The courts are more frequently taking a closer look at service charge issues relating to business leases – looking at the work the landlord has carried out, what the costs were, and whether the work was necessary from the tenant’s point of view.”

“If you think the price of carrying out the work seems high, ask your landlord for detailed plans and, if your lease gives you the right, a breakdown of the costs.”

Whether the costs are reasonable depend on the length and terms of your lease, and whether the landlord has considered all possible methods of repair, rather than just replacing everything.

“Tenants are no longer expected to pay for major refurbishment which they’ll see little or no benefit from in the lifetime of their lease, so if you’ve only got a short time left, consider whether your landlord’s request is appropriate. But you must not ignore the service charge issue and hope it will just go away – ask your landlord for full details, and if it gets very technical, instruct a surveyor to act on your behalf. And if you’re going to dispute the service charge, put your concerns in writing. This may help at a later date if you need to apply for compensation.”

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Streamline Commercial Lending With a Business Lawyer

With the services of a business lawyer, you create a way to navigate through the maze of commercial lending procedures. Filling out the stacks of forms for a personal loan are difficult but this task is magnified when you are seeking to obtain commercial lending for a business venture. Some brave souls try to sidestep legal advisers and end up with more problems than they bargained for.

There are business lawyers who have extensive training and preparation in handling commercial lending applications and contracts. They are not just making sure that they legal documents are in order; they are safeguarding the interests of their clients. Without this additional expert advice and guidance, you may end up paying excessive rates due to clauses that were not adequately understood.

Commercial lenders and business lawyers all speak the same language when it comes to terms and contracts. You can rely upon your personal attorney answering your questions and explaining all of the documents, costs, and fees relative to asking for a loan in the Northeast, in language that you can understand. This is just one of the ways that business and tax lawyers can help you simplify business loans and commercial ventures.

When you are looking for a way to streamline the procedures involved with commercial lending a business lawyer is always your best option. Even before you get to the contract stage your attorney will go over facts and figures to make sure that you are getting the best deal. You may be more interested in just getting the loan approval but business lawyers want your best interests protected from application to closing.

The attorney has a complicated role when business transactions are involved. It is necessary for your business lawyer to triple check every word of each legal document you sign. It is also his responsibility to make sure that any changes are agreed to and recorded appropriately.

All commercial lending procedures are far more complex than personal loans. The terms and conditions may not get fully explained without a business lawyer being present. Most business owners and entrepreneurs immediately realize how valuable these legal services are.

There have been instances when people did not seek out the assistance of an attorney to help them with loans. The problems quickly surfaced when balloon payments, variable rates of interest and other little understood terms came into play. As any business lawyer will tell you, “Ignorance is no excuse.”

Having a business lawyer on your side at the beginning of any commercial lending venture means you will be fully apprised of the situation. Your attorney will look at all of the points presented in your proposal and the loan offer. If you can get better rates or terms this is the professional who can arrange these factors for you.

Even experienced businessmen have been exposed to less than honest lending practices. It is always in your best interest to have a business lawyer guiding your financial transactions. If something seems the least bit unorthodox, he will be the first to move to stop the proceedings on the spot.

You cannot be too careful in the volatile business and financial world we now live in. Having the experienced eyes and ears of a business lawyer gives you the edge when it comes to any type of legal transaction. If commercial lending is new to you, these services are crucial to protect your financial future and security.

Commercial Law – Contract Construction – ‘Reasonable’ & ‘Best’ Endeavours

The recent case of Rhodia International Holdings Limited and Rhodia UK Limited v Huntsman International LLC [2007], provides new guidance on a long-disputed area of contract law. According to the judgment of the High Court, a duty to exercise ‘reasonable endeavours’ requires less than ‘best endeavours’ but can still demand a party to act against its own commercial interests, although the case does not resolve all the uncertainty surrounding the difference between ‘reasonable’ and ‘best’ endeavours.

The case confirms that ‘reasonable endeavours’ is a less stringent obligation than ‘best endeavours’ – a concept which is commonly assumed. The case also confirms that a ‘reasonable endeavours’ obligation may be discharged by exhausting just one of a number of possible solutions, whereas a ‘best endeavours’ obligation requires all avenues to be explored.

Huntsman International LLC (“Huntsman”) had agreed to buy Rhodia International Holdings Limited and Rhodia UK Limited (“Rhodia”), a chemicals company. As part of the sale and purchase agreement both parties were to use reasonable endeavours to ensure that all supplier contracts passed from Rhodia to Huntsman, including one with a power company called Cogen.

However, Cogen refused to accept the transfer of the contract without a guarantee from Huntsman’s parent company. The argument over what was meant by reasonable endeavours focussed on Huntsman’s refusal to provide that guarantee. That refusal therefore affected the transfer of the contract with Cogen for the supply of power.

Huntsman paid for the power from the date of its purchase of Rhodia in 2001 until 2004. However, in 2004 Huntsman told Rhodia that it was pulling out of the location and that responsibility for the power contract remained with Rhodia until the contract expired in 2009. Huntsman submitted the reason for this being that the contract for the supply of power had not been transferred. Cogen claimed that £14.8m worth of power and services was owed, and the case concerned Huntsman and Rhodia arguing over who owed Cogen that amount.

The case was eventually decided on what constituted ‘reasonable endeavours’ to ensure the contract transferred from one company to the other. It was ruled that Huntsman International had breached the sale agreement by not using its reasonable endeavours to provide a guarantee for a power contract. Julian Flaux QC, sitting as a deputy High Court Judge in the case said:

“An obligation to use reasonable endeavours to achieve the aim probably only requires a party to take one reasonable course, not all of them, whereas an obligation to use best endeavours probably requires a party to take all the reasonable courses he can. In that context, it may well be that an obligation to use all reasonable endeavours equates with using best endeavours…”

The ruling in the case made it clear that the terms of the sale contract were binding, even if its terms no longer suited one of the parties. The companies must abide by their contractual obligation to make a reasonable endeavour even if it is against their company interests.

However, there are other authorities which suggest a slightly different viewpoint. In the absence of a specific course of action assumed by a party in the context of a reasonable or best endeavours obligation, neither obligation is likely to require a party to sacrifice it own commercial interests. It appears from the other authorities – which were not discussed in this case – that ‘reasonable endeavours’ may not even require the party giving such an obligation to act to its own disadvantage. This would suggest that relatively little effort is required to comply with a ‘reasonable endeavours’ obligation.

As far as the drafting of contracts is concerned, the best way to achieve certainty would be to specify the actions a party must take in using its ‘best’ or ‘reasonable’ endeavours wherever possible. The relevant party will then be bound to take those actions in any event and the question of whether those actions are contrary to that party’s commercial interests will not arise.

© RT COOPERS, 2007. 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.

Corporate and Commercial Law

Commercial law is effectively the legislation that covers most transactions in the life of Joe Public, from the fine balance of a marriage contract to the more fundamental protection of intellectual property.

Corporate law, on the other hand, is the exclusive domain of big businesses and concentrates on the intricacies of corporate governance, finance and the ongoing cycle of mergers, acquisitions and insolvencies.

Although the two terms are effectively interchangeable, commercial law has a broader application in that it is not only applied to business alone; whereas corporate law is a specific branch of the law that concentrates on all aspects of business.

Thus, when one ties the knot, finances a car or house or even finds alluvial gold in the stream running through our property, we have to take advice from a commercial lawyer and follow the legislation set out in commercial law.

In South Africa, commercial and corporate law is effectively governed by a handful of Acts promulgated over the years, including:

  • The National Credit Act of 2005
  • The Competition Act of 1998
  • The Close Corporations Act of 1984
  • The Alienation of Land Act 1981
  • The Credit Agreements Act of 1980
  • The Companies Act of 1973

Commercial law applies to virtually any and all transactions and it is advisable to contact reputable attorneys before embarking on any deal or contract. Top flight lawyers will ensure that the deal is fair and, more importantly, in your favour.

South African law firms can and will give imperative advice on the following:

  • The administration of estates
  • The sale and carriage of goods
  • The acquisition of real estate
  • The protection of intellectual property
  • Inward and outward investment options
  • Tax, both personal and corporate
  • Marine, fire, life and accident insurance

The dedicated corporate attorney will take care of more pressing issues facing you and your business, including:

  • Acquisitions, mergers and takeovers
  • Banking and finance
  • Commercial contracts, including lease agreements, service and management agreements and licences agreements
  • Corporate finance
  • Empowerment transactions
  • Corporate restructuring
  • Stock exchange listings
  • Tenders

In a nutshell then, commercial law involves the areas of law that have particular relevance to commerce and commercial transactions whereas corporate law deals with big businesses.