Business lawyers offer legal solutions and advice to business clients in a cost-effective and timely manner. They offer legal advice regarding compliance with trade practices and selling and buying a business. Business lawyers prepare and review different types of contracts, including consultancy agreements, distribution agreements, service agreements, information technology agreements, and website terms and conditions, among others. Business lawyers also manage commercial disputes, such as property-related disputes. They deal with contract breach, debt recovery, corporate law proceedings, and more. Business lawyers also specialize in setting up new enterprises, including strategic alliances, joint ventures, and business partnerships. To this, they prepare shareholders’ agreements, franchise agreements, and other agreements. As part of their responsibilities, business lawyers help clients protect and manage brands, information assets, and intellectual property. These include e-commerce and electronic transactions, registered designs, trademarks, copyright, product licenses, and others. Finally, business lawyers specialize in conveyancing and property-related matters, including retail and industrial leasing, commercial leasing, wills and probate, and more.
Business lawyers specialize in document review or due diligence and review the existing business and legal contracts of companies, including their financial statements, agreements, and corporate documents. The aim is to identify potential issues and problems before a proposed transaction takes place (for example, a merger or acquisition). Usually, the goal is to ensure that there are no errors in any of the contracts that will require the consent of a third party or will prevent the sale of the company. In the typical case, an associate catalogues the documentation reviewed and prepares summaries of the main points or arguments. The aim of document review is to give clients a clear picture of the company that is examined. This makes it possible to asses the benefits and risks associated with the planned transaction.
Business lawyers also write memoranda and research legal issues similar to other lawyers. However, in corporate law, memos are less constrained and less formal, and superiors may have different ideas of what makes a readable and useful document. What is important is that the memo is written as efficiently and quickly as possible, with accuracy and thoroughness.
Contract drafting and review is also part of the responsibilities of business lawyers. They draft and prepare contracts by tailoring them to the needs of clients. They put in writing what all parties have agreed so that when they or third parties read the contract, there are no ambiguities. The business lawyer revises and refines the document, together with the lawyers of third parties, until everyone is comfortable signing it. Negotiation is important here, and it involves compromise. It is the task of a business lawyer to understand what their clients can live without. This helps strike a good deal without risking a total breakdown or endless delays.
Knowing what a business lawyer specializes in, how do you find a good professional in the field? One way to do this is to find a list of representative clients and think of whether they are the kind of clients you would like to see a lawyer representing. If the lawyer represents companies with a business that is similar to yours, you may want to contact him. Then, do they represent companies that are your competitors or parties that you have to sue? You may run internet searches as to find lawyers in your area. Look for news and articles about them, legal articles they have written, and cases they have handled. This is the kind of information that will help you find out about the lawyer’s reputation and experience. Finally, consider the costs – whether the attorney will charge you a flat fee or an hourly fee, and whether this arrangement fits your budget.