Commercial Lawyer | How to Find and Hire the Right Commercial Lawyer
How much do bad decisions cost?
Millions and billions. Don’t believe me? Check the hundreds of millions Uber have been paying over the last few years in disputes and legal battles. And they still haven’t made profit till today.
In this post, I share with you my knowledge and insights on commercial law, why you need a competent commercial lawyer and how to find the right one.
But first, let’s talk briefly about commercial law.
Commercial law is an exciting area of law. It can often be referred to as business law or corporate law. It’s essentially focused on the laws and regulations that oversee all activities within commerce and trade. It is focused on all businesses, regardless of their size, nature and industry, as well as the individuals who are involved in the business activities or represent the businesses they are associated with.
Many people might not know this, but commercial law is actually a division of civil law. It encompasses a wide and extensive range of areas like tax law, corporation law, securities and derivatives law, consumer law, finance and banking, amongst other areas.
What are the areas of commercial law?
So, what are some of the commercial law practices? Here are the main ones.
- Contract law
- Intellectual property law
- Data protection law
- Employment law
- Corporate law
The Australian commercial law draws its authority from multiple sources and one of them is the Corporations Act2001. The Act sets out the laws and principles that govern how organisations are formed, how they can and must operate within themselves and with other businesses and organisations. This Act is administered by the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC).
Like many other areas in law, commercial law is ever-changing, evolving and becoming more complex. That’s why finding and hiring a competent commercial lawyer is one of the best investments a business can make.
A commercial lawyer doesn’t only handle the acts and statutes that govern the commercial law, he or she also has to deal with industry codes of practice – that is, regulatory frameworks created to be applicable to, and used within specific industries.
A good example of that is the Australian Banking Association’s Code of Banking Practice and the Insurance Council of Australia Limited’s General Insurance Code of Practice.
Another example is the food sector. Australian states and territories have food legislation to control the advertising, composition, packaging, and labelling of food products as well as the equipment and procedures used in the manufacturing process.
Commercial lawyers handle a vast range of commercial legal matters, from commercial property leases and litigation to employment law and ongoing business support.
Do you need a commercial lawyer?
The answer is ‘do you have or run a business?’ If yes, then you need a commercial lawyer. If you are operating a business of any kind in Sydney or within Australia, Commercial Law is going to apply to, and be enforced on you.
You might be a large enterprise, a start-up, or even a home-based online store. In all cases, a commercial lawyer is going to not only protect you in the event of a litigation or a dispute, but he or she will also give you advice and consultation on how to go about your business to make sure you make the right decisions.
A great commercial lawyer is one who handles all of the complex legal matters so that you can focus on evolving your business and taking it to the next level.
Should your commercial lawyer cost an arm and a leg?
They say ‘you get what you pay for’ right? It couldn’t be truer when it comes to law and lawyers. However, a great commercial lawyer is one that will look after you in all areas including their fees and compensation. Some lawyers do indeed charge an arm and a leg. And some charge very little, whilst the rest charge moderately. What you want is a lawyer who respects what they bring to the table but is not outrageous in their asking fees. You also want someone who is invested in your business for the long-term, someone who sees potential in you and your endeavours.
What things to look for in a commercial lawyer?
So now that you’ve decided it’s absolutely worth hiring a commercial lawyer, here is what you need to consider when hiring one.
- What’s their experience in the commercial world?
- Have they mainly worked as an external legal practitioner, or have they also worked as internal legal counsel for large enterprises?
- What legal battles have they gone through for their clients and how did things turn out?
- What industries have they been heavily involved in and are these industries similar to, or overlap with, yours?
- Do they have international exposure and experience? If your business has or is likely to have any international relevance (which most businesses today do), having international experience makes a huge difference.
- What have their current and past customers said about them? Google reviews are your first place but there are many other reviews sites you can check.
- Are they flexible in their fees structure and willing to discuss a structure that suits your business model?