Many within the modern generation (raised in the internet era) are extremely familiar with ‘reverse auction’ business models – where buying (seemingly) everything upon price (alone) is the sole criteria upon which matters are to be judged.
It really shouldn’t fall to this writer to tell them that’s how they end up on a dreadful budget airline that flies from one inconvenient place to reach to yet another inconvenient place miles from where they want to be (and has additional ‘hidden’ costs for everything) – But if it’s needed, I’ll expand!
Sadly, too many of those in business don’t think about building a strong relationship with their legal advisor to help guide them through their professional journey – Although those that do, tend to be the clients who go from start-up to eight figure valuations / exits in a remarkably short time period.
Thus (often) a contact’s first approach to their potential legal advisor can be:
“I WANT (EXACTLY) ‘THIS’, I WANT IT NOW, AND I WANT ‘IT’ AS CHEAPLY AS POSSIBLE.”
If that is truly how they want to proceed – then they may well be financially better off buying “THIS” from a ‘layman on the internet’ = There are plenty of them out there, calling themselves “lawyers” or “legal advisors” etc. – Which means absolutely nothing under English law and practice.
Please feel free to come back to me when it all goes horribly wrong (and ‘Heck Knows’ = It often does – With the subsequent conversation > starting:
“I don’t know if you remember me, but we had contact about 18 months ago – When I opted for another to help me, and now I’ve got a bit of a problem” . . .
Quite often a qualified and skilled lawyer’s life can (and should) involve having to “drill down” by way of enquiry as to why a contact has made a specific request to advance a very specific proposed course of action.
While an expert lawyer can usually provide a potential route by which their contact>client could achieve their specific aims, we can often see considerable potential pitfalls (and other practical difficulties) with potentially pursuing the contact>client’s proposed course of action – which the lawyers can only partially mitigate.
In large part, a lawyer’s role is to advise – and – their client’s prerogative is to decide.
That role is made much easier if lawyers are being asked to solve a particular problem or issue (when we have a good understanding of the background).
The solutions we can come up with then are likely to be better – then merely being asked to help implement a solution that contacts>clients think they want (on poor layman advice or own thoughts).
Medical Professionals are very familiar with the concept of “Dr. Google” = People presenting to them having diagnosed their symptoms as some obscure ailment and wanting a prescription for an antidote – When the diagnosis is wrong and the treatment required much simpler.
Over the years – when the writer has needed to hire (other) professionals (and I’m including, say – roofers and/or mechanics in that definition), the writer takes a course of saying to them, if (for example) they are repairing/improving my real property (my land and housing) or servicing my depreciating property (my watch or car):
“What would you do/spend – if (in the relevant circumstances) the relevant property were yours?”
It’s an approach which has served the writer very well over the years – In achieving great results – Usually at a fair price = The accepted quid-pro-quo for remunerating those who have applied their expertise which the writer does not have.
Applying that approach to circumstances gleaned from a contact – We often wouldn’t take the action that they are proposing (since we can just see too many difficulties for them with their relevant envisaged approach).
That said the writer – is a businessman operating within the highly regulated authorised provision of legal advice and assistance industry (and thus quite cautious) – certainly avoiding more risk than others might be prepared to countenance.
As “Our Graham” (used to) say on “Blind Date” – The decision is YOURS! (The Client).
The lawyer’s role is to advise upon reducing risks and ensuring the client has all the information to make a decision as to the course of action they want to take.
The ‘great shame often’ is that if contacts>clients had been ‘wisely’ advised about their underlying circumstances – then they may well have been advised to have done something different historically – which would likely have served them much better.
Often – the issues are exacerbated by an ‘accountant’ who engaged upon such a tight retainer – that they don’t have the time to think in their client’s best interests (they just produce the relevant accounts and tax returns – and – then make the relevant filings – unthinkingly).
Often (sadly) by the time that contacts>clients have reached the point of taking skilled legal advice from an experienced and expert legal advisor – It may well (by then) be too late to achieve a successful ‘result’ for the client (certainly easily, quickly and cheaply).
However, if a contact>client has inclination and budget – We would always be fully prepared to provide a time-budgeted fee proposal – For considering what might be realistically achievable (taking account of their aims).
Often (but not always) we can formulate a much better, perfectly legal, approach which ‘pays back’ the client many times over their legal spend on consideration of an issue.
Please feel free to revert to the writer – If you would like to discuss our input (say on like aspects / these issues) in your businesses.
With Kind Regards and My Very Best Wishes
Founding Principal – and – Business Law Solicitor
+44 (0) 20 8780 3319 : London D.D. Landline Tel.
www.EquitableLaw.com – Solicitors For Business