BONUS - Dealing with Lawyers

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Manage episode 212124159 series 2176573
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For every deal you get into, it is essential to have a lawyer by your side. This episode is an insider’s look on how to get the best lawyer out there, how to communicate with them, when to transact with them, and many more. Ray and Nigel shares an 11-point (plus two more!) checklist that you should understand and apply when dealing with lawyers. You don’t want to have any problems with your lawyers so you can avoid having any problems with your deals! KEY TAKEAWAYS Check if the firm you’re going to use is registered with the Law Society and that the lawyer is also registered. It’s common that you might think. It’s very easy to check. The ramifications are your contracts could be invalid. I’m talking about loan agreements, joint ventures and such. Ask about their insurance coverage. This is the professional indemnity insurance. You want to know the what the limits, excesses, who it’s with, or validity of the policy. Double check with the company all the details. Choose fixed pricing. Value pricing rather than hourly pricing. You want to agree on a fee based on the percentage of the deal on the fixed amount. Make sure that the lawyer you’re talking to is the actual lawyer who’s going to do the work. Find the main man. Any questions, comments should be directed to the person who’s gonna do the deal. (Bonus) If you have lots of questions for the lawyer, email them separately. Don’t keep an email thread going with the same subject line. Create a brand-new e-mail every time you ask a question with a specific and unique subject line. Don’t send an email with too many questions. Keep it simple. This will be much easier not to be missed answering by your lawyer. If you’re working off hours in the weekend, tell your lawyer. Find out if your lawyer is reachable on weekends. If you sent an email and expecting a reply on the same day, make it clear that it’s urgent. But be careful the word ‘urgent’. Choose phrases that lawyers respond better to. For example, you can write ‘action needed by 4 pm’ in the subject line. Don’t make your lawyer think that you’re a difficult client. At the start of any engagement, know if they’re going to be off for a vacation, a holiday or any time off at all. Know who’s going to replace them and does that person understand the agreements. Double check the contact details. It just takes seconds to do and it’s very important. Make sure that they will reply to emails and calls. Simple notes like ‘understood’, ‘received’, ‘noted’, etc. are enough assurance for clients that the lawyer received it. (Bonus) Let your lawyer know about your ‘golden rules’. Take it with you when you see them or send them a digital copy. Your lawyer might not want it but at least he knows what your rules are. Tell them at least once a week (like Tuesday morning at 3 pm) that you expect an update. Where are we in this particular matter? Even if the update is very minimal, at least you have an update. The golden rule: Do not aim to complete a transaction on a Friday at the end of the month. Make it a Wednesday mid-month. Everyone wants to complete a trade by Friday and you would want to avoid any conundrum. BEST MOMENTS “The squeaky feel gets the oil. If you set your terms of reference down and say, ‘Look. Here’s the rules with dealing with me. Is this okay?’ They’re gonna laugh and look at you say it’s a bit silly. That’s perfectly fine. You can hold them to it.” “Essentially, if you’re gonna do deals, you’ll have to have lawyers at some point.” “Don’t email with a subject line that’s been the same for other 25 emails.” VALUABLE RESOURCES Implementing Value Pricing: A Radical Business Model for Professional Firms by Ron Baker Check List and Golden Rules for Dealing with Lawyers ABOUT THE HOST Ray McLennan is a keynote public speaker and former corporate solicitor who has many years of experience owning and operating a variety of businesses in the UK and Ireland. Ray is the Regional Manager for Scotland

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