“Choose your soul mate wisely. Choose your legal advisor carefully” is a useful rule of thumb.
A legal advisor is a lawyer who specialises in a niche field of the law. She’s someone you turn to when you’re drafting or reviewing contracts and when you need help to decide how to incorporate your business.
Your legal advisor’s expertise needs to fit your business needs. She needs to understand the industry you’re in. She needs to be well-versed with the legal issues you need a hand with. These requirements are straightforward — one look at their testimonials and an in-depth meeting will show — but what about their personal attributes?
We speak to Priyanka Sancheti, founder of PRIAN Advisers LLP, on her thoughts:
“Many things are expected from a legal adviser. In my case, I’m frank with clients and explain in layman’s language.” Priyanka shares.
Seeking financial advice from a complete stranger is an uncomfortable position to be in. You deserve an emotionally intelligent professional who puts you — not their ego — first. A legal advisor who throws out jargon to display their expertise is arrogant at best. That’s not someone you want to represent your business.
But when you’re working with a legal advisor who knows how to digest a complex financial situation in a short period of time and explain them back to you into simpler terms? Now that’s someone worthy of hire!
When you’re working with someone who speaks like an actual human and focuses on you, you’re in good hands.
Priyanka stresses on the importance of confidentiality. A great legal professional needs to treat all information with respect ensuring an open and honest space between both parties.
“When one incorporates a company, many legal relations are created. Like founders’ relations, shareholders’ relations, and employer-employee relations. For a healthy life of these relations, proper terms and conditions are required.”
Financial issues are touchy matters — the fewer people know, the better.
A great legal advisor go infinity and beyond to understand your needs and interests before preparing the necessary legal documentations.
These professionals spend a big part of their career putting themselves in the shoes of their clients. They’re always there to help with future courses of actions by advising on the existing laws in place that benefit you.
They’re empathetic, experienced, and deeply knowledgeable in the industry you’re in to see to it that you’re confident and empowered to make the next step.
Now that you know the qualities to watch out for, you it’s time to ask yourself, “What am I going to do about my legal documents?”
Bigger companies tend to have an in-house lawyer or on retainer; while startups have a legal advisor on an as-needed basis.
For a startup that operates on a small budget, these are often their top legal priorities: establishing business entity, establishing intellectual property, and establishing ownership and equity rights when there are multiple co-founders.
Obtaining patents, negotiating contracts with customers, and raising capital are usually what come next.
Some startups leverage on legal softwares for contracts and documents. These softwares are great ONLY if you know what you need. They don’t advise you on what is ideal for your specific situation.
Does this mean your startup is doomed to fail? Definitely not. There are experienced freelance experts out there who are making legal accessible to people like you.
It’s only a matter of finding them in the right place. 🙂