“The price is what you pay. Value is what you get.” – Warren Buffet
When choosing a business lawyer, it is important to choose a legal partner who is able to create significant added value with his services for the client company. In such case, a lawyer who knows the client company’s industry sector and is therefore a business-savvy lawyer is able to create considerably more added value with his advice and solutions for his clients. Furthermore, it is important to realize that law is just one of the tools which assist corporates to achieve the goals and objectives set by the client company’s business leaders. For this reason, a business lawyer who understands and is genuinely interested in thoroughly understand the business model of the client is able to advise, support and resolve legal issues in a way that enables the client company to achieve and surpass the goals and objectives set by the business to the outcome of the problem to be solved.
The size of a business law firm is not always a guarantee of expertise. One of the most important tasks of a business lawyer is to create and produce added value. If the person providing legal advice does not have sufficient industry or business expertise, the creation of added value will inevitably fail. For this reason, a specialized business law firm with knowledge of business is able to create more added value and at the same time meet the needs and goals of the client company, even by surpassing them. The client company should make sure and find out that the business lawyer understands the needs of the business as well as future trends.
Prior to confirming the assignment, it is important to ensure sufficient industry expertise. Feel free to find out and discuss industry expertise at the time of bidding process. Inquire and request references if necessary, and make sure that the people who worked during the references are still working in the office, i.e. find out and confirm when the reference task has been completed. If several years have elapsed since the reference work has been made, it is very likely that the lawyers who have carried out the assignment in question will no longer work in the office, especially in larger offices. In this case, the reported industry expertise may not be actual. Ensuring industry expertise means you don’t pay for nothing.
Defining an assignment is one of the most important tasks for the client. The assignment should be defined in a way that the legal work to be performed meets or surpasses clients preliminary expectations. If the scope of the assignment is vague or too broad, this means that the work done by the business lawyer involves work, which does not create added value for the client company. In this case, there is a significant risk that the amount of work performed will significantly exceed the customer company’s expectations.
It should be noted that the errors in the assignment are one of the main causes of disagreement between the client company and the business lawyer. Usually there is a simple reason behind the ambiguity, i.e., the needs of the client company have not been clarified or the needs of the client have not been listened with sufficient care. Furthermore, the lack of industry expertise of business lawyer increases the risk of incorrectly defining the assignment. A fact-specific and open discussion of the client company’s needs and expectations before proceeding with the assignment reduces ambiguities and builds strong trust between the parties. If this is done, the probability that an individual assignment can be executed beyond the expectations of the client company has significantly improved. Above is provided our view how to choose right lawyer for your assignment.
Oscari Seppälä has worked on demanding international and domestic business law assignments throughout his career in Finland. He has worked as a corporate lawyer, a lawyer in a high-profile law firm as well as an entrepreneur partner in a business law firm. Seppälä has extensive practical experience in advising and representing domestic and international companies operating in various industries/business sectors.
He began his career at DSV, one of the world’s largest logistics companies, and later worked as a lawyer for the law firm Borenius before setting up his own business law firm. Oscari Seppälä is currently working as a Specialist Partner, an entrepreneur, in the LKOS Law Office founded by him.
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