By Kevin Rogers
A BOLD question for a lawyer to pose! Before you decide that the answer is an emphatic 'yes!' let's see if we can change that perception.
As we approach the new financial year budgets may be looking thin, or in need of rightsizing, in the hope that provisions for professional advice (if they exist) may not need to be spent at all.
The Wilson Browne Solicitors Commercial Teams are acutely aware of the need for careful budgeting, and for solutions to add value and hopefully exceed expectations. After all we are a local business too and have similar expectations when we are the customer.
To save money in the long run, get advice from the outset of any contract or agreement. Yes, there is a small cost to updating your terms and conditions, or having a Partnership or Shareholders Agreement drawn up but it's generally a fraction of the cost of a mediation or court case if you get it wrong. In such as case, investing in good legal advice from the outset is justifiable and sensible.
When reviewing your choice of legal adviser, you should demand one that embraces flexible fees. As an example all of our employment, dispute, commercial and property lawyers are used to working to strict deadlines, (often) with a range of fees: fixed, stepped, capped, success (aka contingency) and other fee structures are all possible. All of these sit alongside the traditional hourly or blended, where you get various lawyers for one mid-level rate.
Pay as you go? Eat all you can? We've all got used to clear, transparent, fixed pricing: the legal profession is no different, which is why we launched fixed price support packages that mirror that of an in-house lawyer - without the associated cost. For example, our Employment and HR support package, provides support on the day-to-day HR related issues that a business can encounter (much more than traditional employment law). Wilson Browne's employment lawyers will answer an unlimited number of calls or emails (your choice) on discrete issues for a fixed monthly or quarterly (your choice) fee. This is because our lawyers recognise that often a business will need to pick up the phone and get a straight answer ASAP. Many local businesses are turning to us for this bespoke service. This is the case even if they have access to a distant call centre through existing employment insurance. Head of the Employment Law Team, Jennie Jahina, joined us last year and is proving to be a huge asset to clients, by driving such initiatives.
Another example of giving clients total cost certainty and transparency is the fixed price Business Health Check service. Like all good deals, the discounts grow in line with consumption.
The big question is how to choose your solicitor? When people ask us, it's simple - there's the obvious, Large Law Firm Of The Year; Legal 500 recognised lawyers; national awards and so on. More to the point, there's huge benefit in having a trusted local legal adviser that understands your business, is on hand when you need them, respects the need to budget and can be an invaluable sounding board and partner.
Can your business afford not to line up a legal solutions provider that can work in true partnership with you?
Call Kevin Rogers for more information - an initial discussion is free and without obligation.
Kevin Rogers is Chairman and Partner of Wilson Browne Solicitors, a former NLS Solicitor of the Year and one of the current Vice-Presidents of the Northamptonshire Chamber of Commerce. He can be contacted on firstname.lastname@example.org or 01536 410014.