5 Hidden Truths about Commercial Lawyers
Being a business leader is exciting, rewarding, fulfilling, and hard. It doesn’t matter what size your company is or what sector you work in; all entrepreneurs and managers have a hundred things to worry about, including the possibility that making a wrong legal move could seriously damage your company. That’s why having an excellent commercial lawyer on your side shouldn’t be thought of as a business luxury, it should be considered as an essential need for your business’s’ growth and protection. There are many benefits to having a commercial lawyer on the team, many of which surprise even seasoned business people. Here are just five.
1. They’re not just for the courtroom
When we think of a lawyer, it’s easy to imagine a movie scene of a young Tom Cruise pacing round in court in front of their client. Most commercial lawyers rarely see the inside of a courtroom and spend most of their time in offices. That’s because, rather than waiting until you’re faced with a massive legal problem, commercial lawyers work with you to prevent issues before they become court-sized. Whether it’s making sure your employment policies keep you protected, helping write watertight contracts, or guiding you through those big investment decisions, your lawyer is your first line of defence. A good commercial lawyer will often work with a client from the earliest stages of their new business venture, supporting them to make the right decisions from the start.
2. They don’t cost anything
You’re probably thinking, what? That doesn’t make sense. Lawyers obviously do charge fees, but this is one of those situations where failing to spend will very likely cost you more in the long run. One of the biggest mistakes a budding businessperson can make is to try and save money by skipping engaging a lawyer in those early days. That can lead to poorly written contracts and ultimately into grisly legal battles just like the multi-million lawsuit currently being heard In Australian Courts between Macquarie-owned software success story Nuix and its co-founder Eddie Sheehy. That’s why you should regard a commercial lawyer as An Investment For Your Business, one that can help you avoid more expensive problems in the future.
Of course, you may still be concerned about that initial outlay, but even here there are misconceptions about the cost of legal advice. Whether you are recruiting in-house or hiring a firm, finding the ‘best’ lawyer for your business doesn’t have to require a small fortune. The costs of commercial lawyers can vary hugely, depending largely on your unique needs. With many superb professionals working at a range of prices, focus on who would be the best fit for your business and budget.
3. They can be as specialist as you
No business is an island, and each company’s needs are shaped by the sector they work in. Each industry is driven by different commercial imperatives, and its landscape is littered with unique legal landmines. While all commercial lawyers have some general skills and some are successful generalists, many more are specialists who are deeply attuned to the needs of one sector whether your business is a start-up, a construction firm or working in FMCG, you can and should find a commercial lawyer who lives and breathes your specific industry.
The more successful you are, the less likely it is you will be talking about one lawyer in the singular. After all, commercial law includes a broad range of practice areas, including contracts, intellectual property, data protection, corporate and employment law. When you are running a complex operation, you might likely need to have several experts to focus on these different fields, and that’s when a savvy law firm becomes invaluable.
4. They can see into the future
Okay, that might be poetic license, but the ability to scan the legal horizon and see what is coming your way can be a commercial lawyer’s most valuable skill. Commercial law is continuously evolving, and keeping up with new legislation can be a headache for business people and most lawyers. A good commercial lawyer makes it a duty to anticipate how unfolding legislation and regulations could impact your business and prepare you for them. They will translate the legal jargon for you, tighten up policies and agreements, and make sure you’re kept up to speed with any new regulations that might affect you. If you’re in real estate, for example, you need to know far in advance about possible changes to leasing laws.
5. They will integrate into your business
Many people think hiring a commercial lawyer from outside will only mean calling them in for emergencies, and that they will always have an outsider’s perspective. A good commercial lawyer will integrate themselves into every aspect of your business to gain a sound understanding of your operations from every perspective. They need to understand your relationships with customers, suppliers, and competitors to advise you well. After all, having to oversee multiple departments across your business means you cannot anticipate every single problem coming your way, and you need trusted, independent and informed advisers to help warn you. That’s why it’s all the more essential to have a commercial lawyer who knows your business and understands all those finer details, giving you the peace of mind you need to focus on growth.