How to choose a lawyer for your business

6 April 2016

Running a small business throws up all kinds of challenges, and once your business has reached a certain size, there comes a need for seeking professional advice on everything from commercialleases to employment contracts.

But to choose the right lawyer for your business, you need to know which one could best serve the specific needs you have at that moment. At Lexoo, we match businesses with lawyers.

When it comes to choosing the best business lawyer for your needs, here are three tips that have worked for many of our clients.

1. Select a specialist

If you needed a room re-plastered and painted in your home, you’d probably look for a specialist decorator — and a plumber that does some painting on the side wouldn’t be your first port of call. By the same token, there are business lawyers who claim to be specialised in all types of work for all types of client — offering legal services in shareholder agreements, employment contracts, intellectual property, website terms and conditions and tier 2 sponsor visas.

The truth is, no great lawyer can be specialised in all those things at the same time. At Lexoo, the majority of our lawyers trained at top tier City firms, but for lifestyle reasons started their own practice with lower overheads. This means that your business gets big firm expertise at a much more cost-effective price.

Here’s how Lexoo works:

  • Businesses post a job by submitting a few details.
  • We send it out to the lawyers within the Lexoo community who would be most suitable. We choose several who best fit your case and budget.
  • You receive multiple fixed-fee quotes from qualified and insured lawyers, for free and usually within 24 hours.

If you’re after a commercial lease, we’ll get you quotes from commercial lease solicitors. If you need terms and conditions for your website, we’ll introduce you to lawyers who do this day in, day out.

2. Request a fixed quote

The hourly billing model works for lawyers but not for clients. If lawyers charge by the hour, they get paid for time spent: the more hours billed, the more you pay, even if it takes a lawyer an entire day to complete a task. It could take a mediocre commercial lawyer an entire day to complete a task that a great commercial lawyer could complete in two hours — but still, in that scenario, your business loses out and the mediocre lawyer gets rewarded.

Requesting a fixed-fee quote, for certain deliverables, means that you can ask questions without the fear of getting charged more than you anticipated. If a lawyer refuses to work on a fixed-fee quote and absolutely insists on working through hourly billing (because of the specific nature of the work), ensure they can prove how and why this benefits you.

3. Leave room in the budget for disbursements

Many legal jobs can demand costs for things that are not strictly ‘professional fees’, like government charges, court filing fees, search fees, and duties and taxes. For example, things like barrister fees are sometimes grouped under ‘disbursements’, and such costs can unexpectedly stretch the originally proposed budget.

Do ask your solicitor about an estimate of disbursements up front so that you can minimise the risk of any nasty surprises.

How Lexoo helped Rare Pink

We helped London-based engagement ring company Rare Pink, as their CEO Nikolay Piriankov explains:

“We create one of a kind, bespoke engagement rings for our customers. We’re at that stage where we’re moving away from a startup to being a growing small business, and with that transition you’ve got a couple of regulatory and admin things that you really should be taking care of, especially around protecting intellectual property, and putting in contracts.

We used Lexoo because we wanted to protect our trademark, our brand, and we were looking for European wide protection. What I liked is how Lexoo gets their lawyers to specify their category — each lawyer can only put themselves forward for the area they are most suitable, most qualified, or have the best track record in. This ensures quality.”