Original – How To Find The Right Business Lawyers For Your Organization

Company and business laws in most countries and states are extremely complicated in nature. In fact, the longer they have been in place, the more complex they can be expected to be. It is this complex nature of business laws which makes it imperative for businesses to either hire business lawyers on a project by project basis or keep them on retainers.

The biggest benefit of availing the services of business lawyers is the fact that they can translate these laws into practical actions which a business can cope with. Moreover, their expert advice can also prevent a business from making mistakes that would otherwise turn out to be very damaging.

Business law is a field unto itself. This means that even if you try, you would find it difficult to know enough to be completely sure about your business decisions. Furthermore, time that you may spend on trying to figure out business laws can be better utilized on furthering your business. Hence, the use of commercial lawyers can save you a lot of time, effort and resources.

In a nutshell, business benefits of hiring professional lawyers cannot be denied for any business, regardless of its size. However, the big question is how can you find the right lawyers for your business? The following are some tips.

Evaluate What You Need Them For

The first thing you need to consider is what you need these types of lawyers for. Even within their specific field of work, there are various specializations because of how vast the field of business law is. Therefore, you should sit down and evaluate the type of work you would need them for, for the foreseeable future.

Consider Your Specific Preferences

Your preferences would also come into play when it comes to hiring lawyers who will offer advice on commercial law. For instance, while some businesses like large business attorney firms, others prefer small scale firms. There are many such preference based factors that you will need to sort out yourself before hiring a business attorney.

Check Up On Qualifications And Credentials

Once you know what you want from your business attorney, you can actually go about finding the right one. You should begin your search on the basis of qualifications and credentials. Any lawyer without the right experience should be bypassed for better prospects because experience is very important in business law.

Look For Recommendations And Referrals

More often than not, when a business hires a commercial attorney, the objective is to keep dealing with him for all business legal needs in the future. Moreover, the work of such lawyers can have a huge impact on whether the business succeeds or fails. This is why you should never hire a business attorney without checking recommendations and referrals.

Focus On Lawyers Who Have Experience In Your Industry

While there are field specializations within business law, there are also specializations on the basis of industries. The reason for this is that different industries fall under different types of business laws. Expertise in a particular industry is desirable, which is why most business attorneys make it a point to operate in only a few industries. From your business’s perspective, you need to make sure that you only get a lawyer who has considerable experience in your specific industry.

The Work of a Commercial Lawyer

Commercial lawyers are legal professionals who specialize in helping small and large businesses. They are your most useful resource if you ever need assistance regarding legal-related matters. You can always consult with them if you have issues pertaining to properties, taxes, zoning compliance, intellectual properties, and a host of other subjects. On top of that, they are capable of defending you in case you encounter lawsuits from an employee, a business partner, or even your competition.

Competent commercial attorneys are highly knowledgeable on the laws required to protect your best interest and to help you achieve your business goals. To illustrate further, here are some examples of what commercial lawyers do and how they can be a big benefit for your business.

Help you deal with contracts.

As a business owner, you will encounter many different kinds of contracts ranging from those you sign with employees and suppliers, to contracts with partners and customers. Your contracts have to be fair for everyone involved and so you may need the advice of a commercial lawyer. In the same way, you may want to have a lawyer examine the fine details of various contracts being offered to you before affixing your signature.

Organize your business better.

For big businesses, having the right organization is crucial towards achieving long-term success. A commercial lawyer can give expert insights regarding which kind of organization will be most effective for your company’s set-up. Some of the options you can consider are corporation and limited liability company. Your attorney will help you see the pros and cons of each alternative. On top of that, all the necessary documents will be prepared to make sure that the business can run without any legal repercussions.

Acquire properties with greater ease.

Thinking of expanding by acquiring an existing business or property? The process will be so much simpler if you ask for the assistance of your lawyer. The paperwork will never be a headache for you anymore and you will get the chance to look at different angles of the deal. You will be able to avoid falling victim to any potential loopholes once a good lawyer is working side-by-side with you.

Try looking up your local phonebook to see a list of commercial lawyers in your area. Additionally, you can also use the internet to browse information straight from the official law firm websites as well as law-related blogs and sites.

Entering Into Commercial Contracts With Your Lawyer

A contract is basically an agreement which is usually in written form and its purpose is to bind the two parties involved so that both of them will fulfill and follow all the rules and regulations set by the contract. It is more often that both parties benefit from entering into such agreement. There are several rules that are needed to be followed, rules that are either set by the state or by the both parties involved. Since contracts are governed by rules, any disobedience or failure in compliance to the agreement stated in the contract is subjected to penalties and sanctions.

In the business world, almost every transaction or commercial activity involves contracts which come in various forms. For contracts involving big transactions usually between two companies, commercial lawyers for both parties are necessary. Aside from becoming additional witnesses for any agreement, they serve as representatives for each company and have duties of ensuring that all terms and conditions are correct. Ideally, both sides should benefit equally from entering into the commercial contract.

A successful negotiation can help companies avoid waste of money, time, and effort. Commercial lawyers have the job of making sure that the contracts are comprehensive enough to avoid any problems and misunderstanding.

In entering into a commercial contract, you have to be aware of the background of the business or client you’re negotiating with. It would be wise to have an open forum and meetings to present each other’s assets and credibility. Credit check is also performed to make sure the companies are not just taking advantage of each other capabilities. It would be better if you can check specific details about the other company such as addresses, lines of business, owners and officials, products and services, records of affiliations to other companies, credit history, and credibility. A contract is supposedly built in trust and confidence but nothing is wrong in making sure about all the details. After making sure about the qualifications of the other party, it is time to weigh the pros and cons of entering into such agreements and if everything will be done legally. This will be the time you will need to seek the help of a commercial lawyer. He will help you evaluate everything from the proposal stage to contract signing. Seeking the help of a professional lawyer has always been an effective and wise decision.

How To Lower Your Lawyer’s Legal Fees

You’ve heard all the lawyer jokes (How do you make a lawyer smile for a wedding photograph – ask them to say “Feeeeeeeees”) and read the bad press (“Compensation wiped out by legal fees”), BUT a good lawyer can help save you money, and money carefully spent on his or her legal fees is well spent.

o Is my first appointment free? Some lawyers provide the first appointment or initial consultation for free. Ask about this when you make an appointment. You certainly shouldn’t have to pay for an initial consultation, although some lawyers will try charging a fraction of their hourly billing rate. Don’t even consider a lawyer who wants to charge you his or her full rate for an initial consultation.

o Understand the law firm’s fee system before you hire a lawyer. Understanding what and how you are to be charged is obviously important. Billing procedures and rates are a common point of disagreement between lawyers and clients. The more you know ahead of time, the better off you’ll be. Again, this is another one of those questions designed to eliminate disagreements later on. Too often clients find themselves on the hook for hidden costs they knew nothing about.

Ask about the account management process – i.e. how often will you get to speak to the lawyer about how your matter is progressing and be given an update and breakdown of costs? If you have a tight budget, let them know and see if they will agree to a fixed price for the work – if it’s a straightforward piece of work, this shouldn’t be out of the question.

o Check for hidden extras. Ask what additional charges there are likely to be (often referred to by the lawyer as “disbursements”) such as searches, stamp duty, bank charges etc. Although it should have been made very clear, make sure whether the figure you have been quoted includes or excludes VAT.

o What do you estimate as the total cost to me? Don’t be concerned if the lawyer resists answering this question. So much of the cost of a case depends on the degree of conflict between you and the other party, and you know that better than the lawyer. You may learn a lot from the lawyer’s answer, however, so it’s helpful to ask. If your fee arrangement is to be hourly, you should also ask your lawyer to notify you when he or she realizes that the estimate is likely to be exceeded.

o What can I do to reduce the charges? Ask if there are any tasks you can do yourself to cut down on the amount you will be charged.

o Conditional Fees (No Win, No Fee). This means that if you lose your case, you don’t have to pay your lawyer, but you may have to pay the legal fees of the winning party. However, if you win, you might have to pay a higher fee. This type of arrangement is most often seen in cases relating to accident/personal injury, human rights cases and insolvency. Increasingly, forward thinking commercial lawyers are prepared to share the risk of other types of commercial transaction with the client. Expect the fee to be higher for a win than it would have been had it been a fixed fee, as long as you pay less or nothing for a “loss” or aborted transaction.

o Please confirm this in writing. In most cases your lawyer must advise you in writing how much the work will cost or, if that is not possible, how costs will be calculated. Don’t sign any agreement about fees unless you understand it and are happy with it and don’t even consider a lawyer who won’t give cost details.

o When do I have to pay? In most cases your lawyer must advise you in advance and in writing how and when you will have to pay. You are entitled to receive a detailed bill before you pay. Some lawyers will agree to wait until the matter ends before you pay them. Remember how and when you pay can always be negotiated.

o Negotiate! Fee and billing schedules aren’t set in stone, and the market place is competitive. So if you think the price is too high, or that you’ll need more time to pay the bill, try negotiating with the lawyer. ..preferably up front. Shop around but also remember cost should not the only factor in choosing your lawyer.

Avoiding Common Pitfalls When Hiring a Lawyer

Hiring a lawyer is never a simple matter. Just ask some people you know about their experiences and you will likely hear a few negative comments about certain lawyers and law firms they have previously worked with. Unsatisfactory performance and expensive charges are two of the most common complaints among those who have had a bad time in the past.

Of course, there are a lot of ways to help you prevent these usual problems. One of the best things you can do is to check a lawyer’s expertise. A lot of clients fail to do this and this can lead to undesirable consequences. While most lawyers can function even outside of their fields of specialty, it is always better to hire an attorney based on your specific needs. For example, a family lawyer is much more updated with laws and requirements pertaining to divorce and similar topics. A commercial lawyer, on the other hand, is usually tapped by big and small companies whenever they need legal assistance.

Put in proper perspective, it simply means you have to exert special effort finding someone who has sufficient knowledge and expertise. While it is always tempting to hire someone who is sympathetic and supportive, these qualities should never replace the lawyer’s effectiveness in the courtroom. It is your duty and right to take a look at the person’s track record before making up your mind.

Another thing you shouldn’t overlook is to check all the fees upfront. Majority of clients who eventually complain that they’ve been charged too expensively by their attorneys are those who skip this crucial step in the first place. Before deciding to hire a lawyer, ask a lot of questions about the legal fees and be clear with him so you can avoid being surprised later on in the process.

Also, do ask about the attorney’s availability. It is not uncommon for most lawyers to have busy schedules and that’s why it’s important that you discuss the time needed to help you with the case. Are there any courtroom appointments in the weeks ahead? Do you need assistance with some paperwork? The lawyer should be able to lend a hand every step of the way for you to have higher chances of winning the legal battle.

To sum it all up, the biggest mistake you can make is to do no researches and simply hire the first lawyer that you find. Wise clients know how crucial it is to know their attorneys well before proceeding further. Doing your homework is a prerequisite so make it a point to ask for referrals, visit relevant websites, and meet lawyers in person to arrive at a right decision.