As a business owner, it’s very likely that you’re going to need legal advice at some point along your journey. Although hiring a lawyer may sound like an expensive and time-consuming task, it doesn’t have to be. In this guide we’ll give you some tips on how you can find legal advice that not only suits your businesses needs, but also doesn’t break the bank.
Ask the right questions
Indeed, the reason you may be looking for a lawyer is because you have a legal question, but there are other things you should ask a lawyer before you hire them. Don’t be afraid to ask your lawyer how they charge their clients, who else will be assisting on your matter, and what they anticipate the outcome will be.
Get a lawyer with the right expertise
Lawyers practice in many different areas, from commercial law to criminal law, to more niche areas such as sports law. When you’re looking to hire a lawyer, make sure you find a lawyer that has experience in your particular legal issue to ensure you get the best advice. If you hire a lawyer who, for example, normally practices in conveyancing, but represents you in an intellectual property case, this can be detrimental to the legal result you’re trying to achieve. No one lawyer is the same, which is why it’s important to find one that has the professional expertise to match your legal problem.
Look to online solutions
Online alternatives are everywhere these days for businesses - and legal services are no exception. Although being able to find a lawyer online is convenient, the real benefit here is that you’ll be able to find lawyers you wouldn’t normally. Searching online allows you to see online reviews of lawyers to see what the experience of previous clients has been like. Further, you can check on your State’s law society register whether a lawyer you intend to hire has had any disciplinary action taken against them.
You can also find legal assistance on online marketplaces which work to match clients with lawyers for a fee agreed between you and the lawyer.
Get your costs quoted up front
The main reason that legal fees can be high is that lawyers often charge clients on an hourly basis. This means that for every hour of work a lawyer does on your matter, that hourly fee is applied. As a general rule, senior partners charge in the range of $600 to $650 per hour, with more junior lawyers charging anywhere from $200 to $400 per hour. If 5 hours of work is done to prepare a document, you can see how the costs become incredibly high - incredibly quickly. Requesting for legal work to be done on a fixed-fee basis means you’ll know exactly what you’re paying before work gets underway, allowing you to budget for it accordingly.
Know your rights
As a client, it’s important to never lose sight of the fact that you have certain rights when it comes to your legal fees. If you receive a bill from your lawyer which doesn’t seem accurate, you can request an itemised bill. If you disagree with the fees you have been charged, an independent costs assessor can be appointed to determine whether your lawyer has charged you properly for the work they have done.
Often the risks of not hiring a lawyer are far greater than navigating the business world alone. Yet, hiring a lawyer doesn’t have to mean that your business is going to struggle to stay afloat. By following these simple tips, you’ll be best equipped to hire a lawyer that can give you the right advice, for the right price.
Lawpath is Australia’s leading provider of online legal services for businesses and individuals, providing technology powered legal solutions at a fraction of the time, cost and complexity of the traditional system.