Having a commercial attorney to handle your business’s legal matters is important. They help you prevent any legal issues even before they happen by providing advice on various business laws that applies to your company.
For instance, Commercial attorneys can help you with business incorporation, patent filing, copyright and trademarks, zoning compliance, and lawsuits & liability.
This makes it important to hire the right attorney for your business. And to make things easier for you, we have created this guide that highlights the five most important questions to ask commercial attorneys. Let’s get started!
Table of Contents
- 1 1 – What type of cases do you generally handle, and how long you’ve been doing this?
- 2 2- What are your legal fees?
- 3 3- How much of my case will be handled by your assistants or paralegals?
- 4 4- Can you provide me with references of cases you’ve worked on related to my industry?
- 5 5- Do you have any clients who could create conflicts?
- 6 Conclusion
1 – What type of cases do you generally handle, and how long you’ve been doing this?
Just like doctors, lawyers are also specialists in different situations. In fact, they often spend most of their careers practicing one aspect of the law and becoming an expert. Therefore, make sure to ask your civil litigation lawyers about the kind of cases they usually handle. This will help you determine if they are the right fit for your business.
Moreover, ask for how long they have been practicing law. The more experienced they are, the better they will be in handling complex situations. In fact, it takes years of experience to become a qualified lawyer. Now depending on your budget and complexity of the issue, you can choose to hire an experienced or newbie lawyer.
2- What are your legal fees?
Usually, attorneys are very expensive. And you would not want to be surprised when you receive the bill from them. Therefore, it is vital to ask for their legal fees. The typical pricing structures used by attorneys are as follows:
- Hourly Rate: Most lawyers charge based on the number of hours they spend dealing with your issue. This ensures you are only charged when they deal with your issues. The price can range from $100 to $1000, depending on the lawyer’s experience.
- Flat fees: In this model, lawyers charge a flat fee when they deal with a certain legal issue. The fees could differ based on the complexity of the issue.
- Retainer fees: In this pricing structure, you pay a fee upfront (known as a retainer), and they deduct the amount based on their hourly rate or flat fees as they proceed with your legal matters.
3- How much of my case will be handled by your assistants or paralegals?
Many lawyers delegate research and paperwork to their assistants or paralegals. This could increase your overall fees as the charges of paralegals will also be involved. Therefore, take time to discuss this with your lawyer to prevent extra fees. Also, this might affect the quality of the case if the paralegal is not as experienced.
Besides, in smaller, routine matters, sometimes lawyers send their assistants to the trial. Make sure to ask about that upfront, including their experience and credentials.
Apart from the lawyers’ experience, you need to ask your commercial attorney if they have worked with similar businesses in the past. Ask for specific cases to understand how they handle the case and if they could be a good fit for your business.
Also, do your due diligence by searching for their name online and looking for reviews that their previous clients might have left. This will help determine their track record and if they are what they claim.
5- Do you have any clients who could create conflicts?
It is crucial to determine if the attorney already works for other businesses, such as your competitors or former business partners. If so, it could result in a conflict of interest, and you might not be able to share your business’s sensitive information with the lawyer, which could lead to further problems down the line.
Choosing the right commercial attorney for your business can be challenging. Plus, it is a very expensive task. Therefore, you need to take extra care when hiring one. Ask the five questions mentioned above to better understand their expertise and if they’re the right fit for your company.