The corporate lawyer you will hire will take care of the most sensitive legal issues concerning your company. Make sure you hire someone you feel most comfortable with. Remember that your business lawyer is your counsel at law; thus, you should be able to talk openly to them about your business concerns, especially if it may result in a legal problem for the firm. Trust that your relationship with them will save your company from becoming a total wreck.
To find the right fit for your business, here are the top five questions to ask a corporate lawyer you are looking at hiring.
• How long have you been in the practice of corporate law?
From intellectual property to lease agreements, you want to make sure that the lawyer you hire knows the ins and outs of the business law. Find out how long they have been in practice because their years of experience will tell you whether they’d be a good hire or not. If their legal practice does not involve handling business or corporate concerns, you might want to consider talking to someone else.
• How do you resolve a conflict in business?
Ask about how much time he spends battling cases in court and how much time he spends trying to mediate disputes for his former clients. Which of these two approaches to resolving conflict are you most comfortable with? You would want a lawyer who can represent you well in court but at the same time would try to negotiate to get the best possible results for your business. Being able to do both surely makes him a must-hire!
• Who have you worked with?
Have they handled clients who are in conflict with the business that you do? Did they work with a competitor before? If they have, this might pose a conflict of interest; thus making him not a good hire. You don’t want to divulge any relevant business information to someone who can easily leak it to a competitor that could put your business stability in hot water.
• How often do we meet to discuss business?
The time they are willing to spend with you should give you an idea of how serious they are in helping you out. Moreover, every meeting with them means legal fees; thus, you have to make sure you get the most out of every meeting. Schedule regular meetings with your business lawyer to make sure that everything about your business is on the right track.
• How will you charge me for legal fees?
Be open to talking about the rates of your legal help for business. You don’t want to be caught off guard with legal fees that you’re not prepared for. Ask them if they want to be paid monthly or only when they need to prepare documents for your business. You may also ask if they will only charge you for meetings or annually. Don’t be afraid to ask about the rates. Remember that hiring them is also a business investment.