Finding yourself in a position where you need to seek legal advice for your business can be stressful at the best of times. There are seemingly countless considerations, and the legal jargon can make matters a lot less clear than they often need to be. Thankfully, it doesn’t need to be that difficult.
When seeking legal advice for your business in the UK, it’s important to know where to start, and what steps to take. Here, we’ve compiled some key things to consider to ensure that you receive the help that you need, and know what to do in terms of choosing a reputable firm to represent your business:
- Understand your legal needs: Before seeking legal advice, it’s important to understand your business’s legal needs. This includes understanding the legal structure of your business, the laws and regulations that apply to your industry, and any potential legal issues that may arise – of course, you might need a lawyer to actually understand these needs, but do as much research beforehand as possible.
- Research potential legal advisers: Once you have a clear understanding of your legal needs, you can begin researching potential legal advisers. This includes looking for solicitors, who specialise in the areas of law that are relevant to your business.
- Check credentials and qualifications: Before engaging a legal adviser, it’s important to check their credentials and qualifications. This includes verifying that they’re properly qualified, and have the necessary experience in your legal niche to provide the legal advice you need. Ideally, you’ll find your solicitor through an established and reputable firm such as Weightmans Solicitors.
- Consider the cost: Legal advice can be expensive, so it’s important to consider the cost before engaging a legal adviser. This includes understanding the hourly rate or fixed fee that the legal adviser charges, as well as any additional expenses that may be incurred – this should be made available to you on request.
- Look for references: When seeking legal advice, it’s a good idea to look for references. This includes asking for recommendations from other business owners or professionals in your industry, as well as reading online reviews or testimonials for potential options that you’ve identified.
- Understand the scope of the engagement: Before engaging a legal adviser, it’s important to understand the scope of the engagement. This includes the specific legal issues that will be addressed, the timeframe for the engagement, and the communication and reporting protocols that will be followed.
- Review the engagement letter: Before engaging a solicitor, it’s important to review the engagement letter, the document that’s designed to limit their liability and define the terms. This includes understanding the terms and conditions of the engagement, as well as the legal advisor’s responsibilities and obligations.
- Consider alternative dispute resolution: If you’re in a dispute with another business, it’s important to consider alternative dispute resolution (ADR) methods, such as mediation or arbitration. ADR can often be a faster, and cheaper, way to resolve disputes.
To tie things up, seeking legal advice for your business in the UK requires a clear understanding of your legal needs, researching potential legal advisers, and checking credentials and qualifications. You also need to consider the cost, identify positive references, understand the scope of the engagement, and, if appropriate, consider alternative dispute resolution methods.
It’s important to remember that engaging a legal adviser should not be the only step, but rather a continuous process of ensuring that appropriate legal structures are in place to limit liability in your business.