I need a business lawyer. How do I hire the right one?
Almost every company regardless of its size will require the assistance of a business lawyer if they keep their doors open long enough. America is known as a litigious country, and for good reason. It is also a country with established laws by which companies must abide if they wish to avoid fines and other penalties. In the most serious of cases, company decision-makers face the possibility of prison time should they be found guilty of what is often referred to as “white-collar crimes”. Even an honest and hard-working business leader may find themselves in court because they did not know better about following a law that they unintentionally transgressed. However, ignorance of the law is no excuse, and avoidance of problems is usually the best strategy. An experienced business lawyer in Maryland can help lay the groundwork of a company’s structure to proactively avoid litigation issues, and provide invaluable guidance throughout the company’s life.
But how do you find the business lawyer who is best for representing your company’s needs? The following guidelines should help in your search to find the perfect legal representative for your company.
There are many law firms, but not all are equal. Some do not handle cases that involve business law while others specialize in this area. They also vary in size and the rates that they charge clients. As a result of the many differences between them, it’s important to ask any prospective business lawyer the right questions in order to learn if they are a good fit for your company’s legal needs. Here are several examples to get you started:
- Do you have experience handling the legal issues that my company may face? Provide them with a shortlist of current and anticipated concerns to give them an idea of what you need from a business lawyer. Ask them how many years they have practiced law, and inquire what their success rate is in terms of settling cases. If they do courtroom litigation, ask what their success rate is for winning cases.
- Do you represent clients that are in the same industry as my company? Understanding the nature of your business, your revenue model, and the demographics of your customers is crucial when protecting your company’s best interests. They should have at least a general understanding of the risks your company faces and the liability concerns that pertain to your workflow and industry.
- Will you be the business lawyer in your firm who works with me directly? If not, request a face-to-face with that person. It is common for law firms to assign different tasks to different lawyers, and that means that the majority of your communications may be with a junior-level member of their legal team. This can be of benefit to you in terms of the lower hourly billing rate associated with a less experienced business lawyer, but you want to ensure that you will be comfortable working with them, and will be confident in their abilities.
Thanks to Brown Kiely, LLP for their insight into business law and how to hire the right business lawyer.