As a business owner, there’s going to be a time when you need to deal with lawyers. As with any profession, lawyers have their quirks, but they play a hugely important role in helping business owners work efficiently and effectively. This article will give you some insights into working with a lawyer, ensuring you develop a successful professional relationship.

1. Look for Fixed Fees or No-Win No Fee

It’s not unusual for a small business to pay significantly more than they had initially expected in legal fees. This can happen for a variety of reasons, but the main one is that the majority of lawyers bill you based on an hourly rate. Traditionally this is how lawyers have worked for centuries; however it’s now becoming more common for some lawyers to offer fixed fees for set pieces of work. This gives you certainty of price and allows you to discuss issues with your lawyer without having to worry about your bill shooting up! LegalVision, for instance, offers fixed fees for any legal project. Other organisations are starting to offer this too. Working with a lawyer can be simple!

If you’re involved in a personal injury matter you can usually find a lawyer who will offer you a no-win no fee deal. Definitely something to think about!

2. Negotiate!

Lawyers are running a business. If they want your business badly enough they will usually be willing to negotiate and offer you either a lower hourly rate and potentially a lower fixed fee.

3. Try and do some of the work yourself.

One area of legal services that has dramatically changed over the past few years is the prevalence of customised legal documents online. If you’re looking for legal help that relates to documents, there is absolutely no reason why you should not have a go at creating the first draft of the document yourself. Websites like LegalVision make this really easy to do, allowing you to use software to create a customised legal document before you even talk to a lawyer.

Putting in some effort yourself, and only then working with a lawyer, can dramatically decrease the amount you need to spend on legal services. Instead of spending a couple of hours drafting you a document from scratch, your lawyer will simply need to review your document and perhaps make a few changes or additional customisations.

4. Make sure you are working with a lawyer who is a specialist

One of the big mistakes we see business owners making is assuming that a generalist lawyer will be able to effectively help them with all of their legal issues. This approach just doesn’t work. You wouldn’t want your GP performing open-heart surgery! If you have a specialist legal issue, such as an employment law issue, you should work with an employment lawyer to resolve it. Finding a specialist can be difficult, but there are directories out there, or organisations such as LegalVision, that can help you get access to specialist legal advice.

Conclusion

The legal industry is changing. Take advantage of this, use technology and shop around. Look for fixed fees and make sure you don’t overspend on your legals!

Lachlan McKnight

Ask Lachlan a Question

If you would like further information on any of the topics mentioned in this article, please get in touch using the form on this page.