Is your corporate lawyer fit for your purposes?

Is your corporate lawyer fit for your purposes?

Our corporate and funding specialist Fraser McGee considers what clients should reasonably expect from their corporate lawyer.

Do we ever stop to think what our clients are buying when they instruct us? I’ve been pondering this question lately. As someone who has run businesses and raised funds myself, I can draw on experiences from both sides of the fence in trying to find the answer.

I think that all too often clients suffer from low expectations, they don’t expect to get more than the basics, so they don’t ask for more. They need to get a discrete bit of legal work done, they get a lawyer in to do it and feel relieved when it’s finished, and they can tick it off their “to do” list. The lawyer walks out of the door – until the next time there is a specific need for some legal services.

But in my view, this is not how it should be. There is a much bigger picture and you can get so much more value out of your relationship with the right lawyer, when you find someone who does it properly. Lawyers should (and some do) deliver a lot more than the perceived basics. Your corporate lawyer should:

  • take the time to get to know you and your business
  • instinctively understand what you are going through and where you are trying to get to
  • know how and where to help you raise money (from the right partnering investors)
  • see risks, because of a slightly different perspective, that you may have missed
  • be a trusted sounding board for business ideas and strategy
  • provide common sense commercial advice, not just technical advice
  • feel like they are on your side and are part of your management team
  • be able to do what you need, and deliver it when you need it

In the US lawyers are more likely to travel between the law and business and back again, cross pollinating their learning and experience. In the UK, this has traditionally been much less common – in my view to the detriment of many clients seeking legal support, that could really use an adviser with an experienced and informed business edge.

The question clients should be asking when they instruct a lawyer is not just, can this person deliver the immediate legal service I need but, what else do they bring to the party? Are they fit for our purposes; will I get everything I deserve from them?

How can we help you?

New model firms, such as Nexa, are challenging the status quo of the legal profession and providing industry experienced lawyers that know how to comprehensively support their clients. Over time, these lawyers can really help business owners to succeed in growing and adding stakeholder value, and when the time comes, exiting the businesses they have built.

For a confidential, no obligation chat about helping you achieve your corporate and funding aims, do get in touch with Fraser.