Contracts. Business formation and dissolution. Intellectual property. Financing transactions. Commercial leases. Insurance. Corporate governance. Employment matters. Data security and privacy. Regulatory compliance. These are the business issues and transactions that make up business law. But what is the role of a business lawyer?
Some business people view lawyers, perhaps even their own lawyer, as necessary evils. Good for making filings, registrations, etc., but in terms of transactions to be brought in only when necessary and as late in the process as possible. Lawyers complicate matters and run up costs.
This need not and should not be the case. A good business lawyer can be a trusted advisor, someone you want to bring in at the beginning, not just at the end, of a transaction. Someone who can help you to shape and negotiate the deal, not just paper it over once it’s been made. Someone who can help you understand the legal implications of a business transaction or company policy without letting the legal tail wag the dog. Someone who adds value to your business.
Legal advice should be strategic. It should be proactive and work in service of the business generally and specific business transactions. Indeed, legal strategies are part of a business’s overall strategies – neither should exist independent of the other.
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