Business organizations need the services of a lawyer to take care of their legal requirements. From the time of setting up the business to taking care of the day to day routine legal work, a lawyer is a must for business organizations. A good corporate lawyer is an asset to businesses. He/she provides crucial assistance in every aspect of the business. From basic regulatory compliance to drafting of contracts to handling more complex legal issues, a good corporate lawyer is a vital asset to any business organization. Here in this article we will discuss some tips on finding corporate lawyers in India.
When to Hire a Business Attorney
While smaller business organization tend to put off the decision to hire an attorney till the time they find themselves in some legal soup, larger firms hire an attorney to ensure that their business operates smoothly without any legal trouble. This is mainly because attorneys come at huge cost and the smaller firms avoid paying so much money. However, it is better to avoid getting into some sort of legal trouble that you find yourself being sued for and then hire a lawyer to defend you. The latter one is a more costly affair.
Size of the Law Firm
It is common knowledge that larger a law firm higher the fee they charge. However, larger firms have some distinct advantages over smaller ones. Over the years, the legal profession has become highly specialized. A solo practitioner or even a small law firms in india will not have the experience or expertise to handle every facet of law. They may lack the necessary skills to help your business grow. At some point they will have to refer you to a specialist and you will end up dealing with multiple attorneys.
Though larger firms are more expensive, they have two distinct advantages. Firstly they generally have all the required skills under one roof, and secondly, they have a lot of influence in the legal community which they can leverage to get your work done. They generally have a national presence and can take up your case in any jurisdiction. They also have connections in the financing world and may be able to help you when you might require financial help.
Attorney’s Skill Set
As mentioned earlier, lawyers’ job have become highly specialized. Corporate lawyers in India whom you would like to hire should have at least the following skills:
- You need a lawyer who understands your business quickly and is able to draft contracts for your customers, clients and vendors. Also, he/she should be able to help you understand and sign contracts that other people send to you.
- Business organizations.The attorney should help you decide the type of business organization you need to set up: partnership firm or a limited concern etc. and prepare the paper work accordingly.
- Real estate. Should be able to help you in finding the appropriate commercial space and negotiate the terms and conditions of the lease agreement
- Taxes and licenses. Should be able to register your business for state and central tax identification numbers and understand the tax implications.
- Intellectual property. If you are in a business where intellectual property is paramount then the lawyer should be able to register your products and services for copyright and trademark at the right places.
When interviewing attorneys, do not hesitate to ask questions about their experience in providing the kind of services you would need. Ask how well the lawyer is connected to other lawyers from different fields of law. As it is, no lawyer can be conversant with every field of law and you might need the services of other specialist in the future. Ask if the lawyer has other clients from the same industry as you are in as it would help the lawyer understand your business quickly. However, make sure the lawyer doesn’t represent any of your competitors. The lawyer should be good teacher in the sense that he/she should be willing to spare time to educate you and your staff about the law that governs your business and how it affects the way you operate your business.
Lastly, the most important thing to ask the prospective attorney is the billing structure. Some corporate lawyers in India charge one-time fee for routine legal matters while some lawyers work on contingency fee which is payable only if the work is completed to your satisfaction. Those who charge flat fee may ask it to be paid upfront or some part of it is paid on completion of the work. In some cases lawyers quote an hourly rate, for instance, in litigation cases. Whatever be the fee structure, negotiate it at the beginning itself and try to make it flexible.
Finally, when you find corporate lawyers, you need to consider some other important things, such as the geographical location of the lawyer, how well he/she communicates, etc. The lawyer you hire should not be one who would say what to do and what not to do, instead he/she should be able to tell you how to do what you want to do.