No matter what industry you are in, you need a business lawyer to take care of your business affairs. Make sure you consider these questions.
- Where are disputes resolved?
If there is a legal dispute, it is of great importance at which place is the place of jurisdiction. If you have signed a contract with a company in which the jurisdiction is in French-speaking Switzerland or in Ticino, you will not only have to accept the long journey to the court, but you will have to pay additional costs for running the process in French or Italian. If you conclude contracts with foreign contractors, a foreign legal system may also be applied in addition to the foreign jurisdiction. To avoid these pitfalls, ask your lawyer which jurisdiction and choice of law shall be agreed on. This saves money on travel and attorney fees.
- Which contracts do I need?
Before starting your business, you should consult a lawyer to understand which contracts you need. Most give you this information for free or at minimal cost. Among other things this helps to reduce the risk of future disputes, to promote the timely payment of customers, and to establish advantageous relationships with employers. It is always better to conclude more contracts than necessary. It is therefore an advantage to have a lawyer who can handle these tasks.
A good business lawyer does the tasks assigned to him. An outstanding lawyer goes one step further and takes proactively into account any legal risks related to the proposed business activities. By reviewing your business plan, the documents and contracts you need can be created. Ideally, aspects such as insurance or future business activities should be proactively considered. With a risk analysis of your business activity you can minimize future legal costs.
If you choose a small law firm or solicitor, it is likely that the person you are in touch with will take over your job. If you hire a larger law firm, ask at the beginning who will take over your work. Many large law firms hand over routine tasks to their junior employees. Although these lawyers have a good education, they may lack the experience to solve more complex issues. This can sometimes lead to problems. To avoid this scenario, first agree with your lawyer who will do the work for your company.
- Does the lawyer have already customers in the same industry?
With this question you can clarify two important points. On the one hand, you can find out if the lawyer has gained experience with the industry-specific legal aspects. Industry knowledge is a big advantage. Lawyers with experience in this area simplify communication and have the specific expertise and documents you need.
On the other hand, this question helps you to identify potential conflicts of interest. If a lawyer represents a competitor in your industry, he may not be the best choice for the job. There is an ethical code in this regard.
Remember that there are two types of business lawyers. Consulting lawyers design and review legal documents for entrepreneurs. Litigators solve disputes with other parties. Finding a lawyer with experience in both areas is one option. However, for some companies it is a better idea to find a different lawyer for every aspect.
- Mediation and arbitration
Before a contract is breached, there is a way out of bad business relations through dispute resolution. During dispute resolution, your lawyer designs documents that guide you through the process. The lawyer may also act as a referee or mediator.