Choosing the Right Corporate Lawyers
It was not raining when Noah built the ark and likewise when it comes to your company’s legal preparedness you should not wait until you need it, to have it. The misjudgement that some business owners make is believing that lawyers are repair people who are called in only when things have to be fixed, but the value you can realise from getting legal representation before the critical need for it arises can put you steps ahead of the situation. But regardless of whether you choose to start forging relationships within legal spheres now or later (though, again, we strongly advise against the latter), you need to make sure that whoever you choose to represent your interests in a merger, equity sale or other corporate legal matters, is the best option for you. However, with the wide range of choices, picking the law firm that’s right for you can be a daunting task, so to give you a place to start we have put together a few pointers on what you should consider when making a decision.
The first thing you need to think about when you are trying to decide whose corporate law services you want to employ is who you are. What industry do you operate in? How big is your company? What are the typical legal services that organisations like yours require? Once you have answered these questions you can narrow down your options according to the industries that the law firm has expertise in and whether they have services that cater to the unique needs of small businesses or large corporates, depending on which category you fall under.
So hopefully at this point you have managed to shorten your list of options. Now from the remaining candidates you need to check how credible they are. Especially if you have limited legal background, you are essentially going to trust any legal knowledge or advice that comes from your counsel, so that trust needs to be well placed. Luckily, in the age of the internet conducting due diligence can be quite easy. For very well-known firms a simple web search will give you just about everything worth knowing about them through reviews, news articles and references. For firms that may not be quite as prominent yet (which is not always a red flag), you may have to dig a little deeper. Also make use of your professional network, more often than not you will be able to find a colleague who has information on a particular law firm or they may know someone who does.
The third factor to take into consideration is the size of the legal practice itself. While larger firms are typically more prominent and have large resource pools there can be some drawbacks in terms of the degree of personalised attention that you get. That is not to say big practices will not give you the attention you need, but in some cases you may require more intimate one on one interactions, which may be difficult to get from firms that handle a multitude of clients.
Once you have narrowed down your candidate pool to corporate lawyers who have experience in your industry, cater effectively to your company’s size, have a traceable and reputable track record, and are able to give you the attention and availability you need, you now have to think about what will likely be the ultimate deciding factor – cost. You obviously have to be able to afford your legal counsel. Charges for corporate legal services will range depending on the factors we have discussed above and you need to ensure that whatever choice you make is a sustainable one that will not threaten your company’s survival and growth.
The list of factors to take into consideration when choosing your corporate lawyers can go on and on but from the experience of our legal team at Mundia & Mudhara (a Baker Tilly network member) these cover the key aspects to look at. The most important thing, however, is being able to fully trust your legal advisors; that is why the Mundia & Mudhara team always takes the time to build truly meaningful and lasting relationships so that we fully understand you and your needs, and are able to guide you with your best interests at the core.