Get a Commercial Real Estate Lawyer to Handle All Your Transactions

Lawyers usually play a very important role in broking real estate deals. By employing the services of a lawyer in your transactions, you will realize that your clients trust you more. Furthermore you will save time by letting your lawyer to handle all the transactions on your behalf. In addition to these, a commercial real estate attorney will come in handy in various stages of transactions and exchange of property to representing you on litigation matters. Therefore, regardless of your level of capitalization, whether you are a small time or big business owner; commercial property lawyers are there to take care of all players in the industry. You can always count on commercial lawyer for professional, knowledgeable and responsive services. Such lawyers cover extensively matters involving both huge sums of money as well as small investments.

Parties that can seek services of real estate lawyers

The industry is detailed and complex by virtue of the items being traded as well as different people and professionals that are involved. As a result anyone that operates in this industry that is not necessarily a buyer or seller of property can actually seek legal solutions from the estate lawyers. Such people include: Contractors, Tenants, ordinary citizens, Foremen, engineers and all players that are involved in one way or the other in building and construction have the access of commercial real estate lawyer. A lawyer will be helpful in cases where there is:

Breach of contract.

Work delay and or termination.

Injury to workers.

Issues of non-payment and collections.

Poor workmanship.

Use of poor quality materials.

Family estates and inheritance

Estate lawyers can also be very good advisors on real estate transactions and step in to resolve disputes arising from inheritance and property rights. Disagreements about property and inheritance are matters are always common. To prevent disputes that emanate from inheritance matters; the services of a commercial attorney will be very vital. Under this category, the lawyers can offer myriad services concerning family and personal property. First of all they can help in drafting wills. Estate lawyers can help you in drafting wills that determine the beneficiaries of your inheritance. This will be done with great considerations of the existing laws of inheritance as well as the desires of the property owner. Furthermore, the lawyers and their law firms can also act as custodians of such property in case of the demise of the proprietor and beneficiaries haven’t attained the age of property ownership. You can also handover the management of your property to commercial real estate lawyer so he or she operates under your instructions.

Important advice

When dealing with commercial real estate lawyers, it is always good to know the charges in advance before you commence any dealings. The firms that charge a flat fee are better than those that charge hourly. Furthermore a flat rate fees enables you to budget so that your problems solves.

How to Be a Great Corporate Lawyer

Average lawyers abound, good lawyers are common, but great corporate lawyers are hard to find. What is the mantra that makes a good lawyer GREAT? Great lawyers love what they do and it is this passion towards their work that separates them from mediocrity.

Step 1. Know your subject & law thoroughly. In-depth and sound understanding of the substantive law is a must. Know your subject, its nuances, interpretations and important case laws to have a command on the law that you are practicing. No amount of communication or writing skills can gloss over the lack of knowledge in law which comes from continuous reading & practice. Repetitive reading of law with an open mind brings different connotations and opens the door for creative interpretations. I have personally read same clause differently at different times which new perspective each time.

Step 2. Know the facts crisp & clear. Complete understanding of the facts of the transaction helps correct application of law as law applies differently to different facts. No two matters are similar so grasp the facts correctly to assess an issue. Misreading of a fact may change the entire structure and the end result sought to be achieved. My senior and mentor in law late Mr. J.K. Gupta had the ability to get to the crux of the matter by sheer power of crisp reading and clarity of thought. I continuously strive for that clarity.

Step 3. Understand the objective sought to be achieved. Empathize with the needs of your client, dynamics of the transaction and what is intended to be achieved. Alignment with the objectives of your client coupled with certain analytical & assessment skills helps in gaining long lasting confidence of the client. One possible way of gaining this insight is by having an earnest need to know your client’s business and by feeling the passion he/she feels for the issue.

Step 4. Know your environment. Make a conscious effort to read new developments in the practice area that you are specializing in; understand its dynamics, rules and regulations, latest amendments and changes in law and the transactions closed in the sector. This will help in gaining the confidence of the client and also structuring the transaction better. Client’s expectation from a good corporate lawyer is usually a mix of good legal understanding and sound commercial assessment/advice.

Step 5. Keep the Right Attitude. It is the attitude that separates mediocrity from greatness in any profession. Sincerely loving the work that you do makes all the difference to the advice given. Believing in the work one does and the clients one represents is important to ignite that all so important passion – so therefore do not accept briefs that you not go well with your own belief system. There are times when I refuse briefs/transactions that require me to render advice or undertake work that goes fundamentally against my value system. Reinforcement of one’s commitment towards work and aiming for the satisfaction of the client also helps.

Step 6. Focus on interpersonal relationship and be available when it matters the most. Learn to listen (and not only hear) to the viewpoint of not only your clients but also your opponents, support team, and other associates. Watch closely how they think and what makes them happy – stroke their achievements. Being intuitive and perspective is one of the toughest part of being a great lawyer and being available for most part of the day is the other. However, accessibility brings trust and dependability – so go for it.

Step 7. Have an eye for detail. Pay attention to details and be methodical in going through the check list required to close each transaction. Or else hire someone who can assist you with that work. Shortcuts can lead you and your client to some serious mistakes – ensure that the advice is not only complete but is also duly implemented. For instance, it is not only important to close an investment transaction in an M&A deal but is equally important that the follow up conditions required are duly fulfilled or implemented. One of the common slip that I occasionally note is that endless effort is spent in carefully negotiating the terms of the acquisition & shareholder’s agreement but post acquisition, the investor either fails or forgets to insist on amendment of the articles of association to record the terms & conditions of the shareholders agreement, making most of those rights unenforceable. So keep at it till the last condition is satisfied.

Step 8. Develop objectivity and a holistic approach. Learn to Step back and take a holistic view of the matter and then structure a transaction. Of course the ability to assess the strengths and weakness of a matter does not come overnight but by experience and habit of pondering over at every detail.

Step 9. Know your weaknesses. Get out of your ego trip and identify not only your strengths but also your weakness. Either work on your weakness or hire a support who complements you as a team. It is better to work on your weaknesses than to pretend that you are not. As a corporate lawyer, communication and writing skills are important so work on that area if this needs attention.

Step 10. Grow a team. There is only so much time in a day – therefore learn to identify talent and nurture them as a team. One never wins a battle alone – surround yourself with a capable support team who does all the good work under your capable supervision.

Step 11. Be honest with your clients. Last but not the least, being honest and transparent with your client never hurts either you or your clients. Watch out to understand the difference between creative structuring and adventurous advice bordering potential violation. Advise your client clearly on the merits and pitfalls of what is being proposed and then Step back to let your client take the decision. For instance, in PE investments in public limited companies, the funds usually negotiate for various combination of exit options which are generally unenforceable under India laws vis a vis a public limited company. But most PE funds nevertheless insist on these rights under an investment transaction.

In my experience as a corporate lawyer, the single largest motivating factor that keeps me going is my passion for work, satisfaction of my clients and the sheer joy it gives me. There are no classes that one can attend to become a great lawyer – what ultimately counts is the way we approach our profession and I still have miles to go…

I would be happy to receive your feed back or inputs or additional points that I may have missed in our journey of being a Great Lawyer.

The author is a founding partner of a Delhi based law firm LexCounsel and is a corporate and commercial lawyer.

Simple Tips for Determining If Commercial Litigation Assistance Is Necessary for Your Business

Searching out commercial litigation assistance is an intimidating process, but if you follow these tips, you will be able to find the appropriate lawyer for your unique legal situation.

Understand What A Commercial Lawyer Can Do For Your Unique Business

Law firms can help businesses with a whole suite of cases ranging from landlord-tenant litigation to change of ownership to employment and consulting agreements. If you are unsure of how to proceed with a confusing legal matter, schedule an appointment with your lawyer. It is always best to consult with an attorney before proceeding with legal action because each case is unique and needs attention from an expert. Many legal firms offer a free 30-minute consultation where you will learn all your options.

Law Firms Will Assist You In Choosing What Type Of Business To Form

Attorneys have the ability to aid you in choosing your business formation when you are a new company, store, or restaurant. For example, there are multiple businesses to file as: corporations, LLPs, LLCs, sole proprietorships, joint ventures, and partnerships. Law firms will walk you through the meaning of each type and assist in choosing which category fits your business description. It is imperative to understand that each type has a different rule when it comes to distribution of profits, documentation, and asset protection.

What To Do If Your Business Has Been Sued

First of all, do not take action on your own or answer any legal questions about the suit. You lawyer will assist you in contacting your insurance in regards to the claim. It is imperative to contact a commercial attorney who will research your options and consider the facts and situation. They will create a defense, assess liability, and decide to settle or move forward with the litigation. Remember you do not have to take on a lawsuit alone.

How To Prepare For Your First Meeting With Your Attorney

It is important that your commercial litigation specialist understands your situation from all angles. Most legal firms prefer to have all documents and records associated with your case to become intimately familiar with the history of your case and business. Said documents might include: formation documents, a business plan, organizational charts, meeting minutes and records, contracts, a vendor list, tax records and the current year’s tax return, and financial statements including balance sheets and income statements.

If the above information is a lot to digest, or you are convinced your business is in need of an attorney, simply contact your local commercial litigation specialist and schedule a free consultation. Law firms are eager to assist and are widely experienced in a myriad of legal matters, so even your unique case has likely been encountered before. Remember you do not have to tackle these legal issues alone.

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.