Posted: Monday, 1 March 2010 @ 14:42
Whether you are thinking of approaching a lawyer to give advice on your business or personal matters you should make sure you find a lawyer who you feel comfortable with and whom you trust to give you good advice.
Cousins Business Law has produced the following checklist. Use it to make sure you get the best from your lawyer.
- Find a lawyer who understands you and whom you understand.
- Make sure they are commercial and show common sense.
- Tell them what you want to achieve (not just what the problem is), by when and at what maximum cost.
- Ask them if they will communicate with you by email (it can save days) – if not, ask them why not.
- Agree a “case plan” with them for a lengthy transaction - have dates by which things must be done and ask them to agree free meetings (maybe by phone) to discuss progress.
- Find out something about them - ask them what they specialise in/look at their website, and ask to speak to their clients.
- Get a copy of their “Client Care Letter” and keep them to the standards they set, for example time limits for replying to your enquiries.
- If you need to meet, get them to visit you (at no fee)…why should you leave your business, try to park your car, sit in their reception reading 2 year-old copies of Country Life?
- Don’t trouble too much about exactly how much their hourly rate is compared to another firm - get them to say how many hours they will take to do the work - often a more experienced, (and hourly expensive) specialist lawyer can do the job in half the time of another.
- Prepare carefully for any meetings – make a note of any questions you want answered and copy that to them before you meet.
- If they don’t seem really interested in your business; haven’t asked to see your factory or offices, visited your website or shop, or understand exactly what business you’re in and got to know you at least a little - sack them! Now!
Contact Cousins Business Law for advice on this topic.
Blog by Gary Cousins
Gary has been providing legal advice to shareholders, directors and business owners for over 25 years. Specialising in dispute resolution Gary is based in Birmingham with clients throughout the UK and overseas. View profile
This blog is not intended to constitute legal advice, nor is it intended to be a complete and authoritative statement of the law, and what we say might be out of date by the time you read it. You should always seek legal advice to confirm whether or how any information in this article applies to your particular situation. We offer a free telephone consultation
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