Jbb’s 5 Tips for Choosing a Good Lawyer
Fewer things can derail a business deal quicker than an inexperienced lawyer trying to navigate a client through the art of the deal. Just like you would not want a general practitioner performing open-heart surgery on you, a family law solicitor is not the right choice to oversee a sale of a business on your behalf.
Do not risk your deal falling over because of a poor choice in lawyer. Here are jbb’s five top tips for finding the best legal representation for your business transaction whether you are buying or selling.
Tip #1: Respect your business vision
Every business owner has a vision for their company. Whether you are a small florist or cafe owner to a multi-million-dollar manufacturer, you have outlined your goals for future growth. These objectives are non-negotiable, and you should not compromise them with a lawyer who neither understands nor respects them. For example, let’s say part of your plan for expansion requires the purchase of a pop-up location for your business. You know you need to negotiate a new lease for the additional space, but you need the help of a business solicitor to ensure your best interests are protected during the real estate transaction. A smart move would be to choose a lawyer who specialises in commercial leases/business law to navigate through the process. A lawyer who understands real estate is more likely to uphold your wishes. If you encounter a lawyer who spends more time trying to talk you out of your vision than helping you achieve it, keep looking.
Tip #2: Understand your niche
This tip builds on the first one, emphasising the importance of choosing a lawyer who is willing to go the extra mile to understand your business niche. For example, if your specialty is hospitality there is a specific audience you are targeting, so you need a lawyer who understands the market demographic before they can help you close any deals relating to your business endeavours.
Some niche markets are highly regulated such as hospitality and importing businesses. If your business is in one of these industries, you will want a solicitor who is updated on regulatory requirements, so their advice is based on sound practice.
Tip #3: Pick the right size legal representation
If you are a small business owner who grosses less than a million annually, you probably do not need the same legal representation as companies like Crown Resorts or the Woolworths Group. Not only will their legal fees likely exceed your allotted budget, but they also may not give you as much attention as the bigger fish they represent.
Another potential issue with hiring a larger firm than you need is you can get stuck with an inexperienced lawyer fresh out of university with not much real-world experience. You deserve an experienced lawyer who is dedicated to working with you each time you require legal assistance especially when buying or selling a business.
Tip #4: Ask about their bona fides
When it comes to knowledge vs. experience, choose a lawyer with experience. Just make sure they have the right kind of experience to suit your business needs. Enquire about similar transactions they have handled (and their outcomes). Business lawyers with proven track records are worth their weight in gold. Ask any prospective legal representation questions specific to your needs to ensure they are a good fit.
Most important tip when picking your lawyer, do not be scared of them. They are just people. Most lawyers are intelligent, we know that, as they have completed their various degrees. However, not all lawyers are street smart. By this we mean, they might not have the social intelligence, or the customer service needed to massage a deal across the line. You want a lawyer who is a problem solver, not a road blocker.
Tip #5: Request references
Do not just take a lawyer’s word for it. Ask for references. Lawyers are no different than any other service providers such as real estate agents, builders or accountants. Perform due diligence on them to make sure they have the experience to meet your needs. Talking with current and former clients can help you determine if a particular business lawyer is the right one for you. Remember they get paid whether the transaction goes ahead or not, so make sure they are on your side, share your vision and have good communication with you right from the start.
Making the right legal choice
Choosing the perfect business lawyer is time-consuming, but well worth the effort. Quality lawyers are willing to work within your niche — and your budget — to help your business grow and succeed. Follow these tips to make sure your choice is looking out for your best business interests always.
Jbb work with a great group of lawyers who we can highly recommend based on their experience and successful outcomes with our vendors and purchasers. If you are looking to buy a business or sell a business and would like to talk with a jbb recommended lawyer please give us a call on 0409 965 540 or firstname.lastname@example.org.