When many people think of lawyers, their blood pressure increases thinking about minute by minute charging and expensive invoices. While some of us ‘law folk’ are changing the way we invoice and are engaging in more ‘value-based’ billing practices, the perception of lawyers being ‘expensive’ is a hard one to change!
While, in most cases, you’re going to have to invest some cash if you’re going to seek the advice of a lawyer, it may surprise you that engaging the expertise of a lawyer may actually save you money and here’s how:
- Lawyers are trained to ‘sniff out’ risks
Lawyers are trained to sniff out risk better than your pup can sniff out a crumb in the carpet. So, when you’re entering into a contract or considering a commercial transaction, a lawyer can spot potential risks and discuss them with you so you have an opportunity to try and reduce your exposure or at least understand them so you may make informed decisions. Everyone’s risk profile is different and what one person may accept may be a ‘deal breaker’ for someone else so it’s important you understand the risks and any implications associated with any contract you enter or transaction you engage in.
- They know the rules of the game
The law can be complex. Different rules and laws determine the manner and process in which things must be done, they can be complicated and are always changing. Lawyers spend their careers reading, understanding and keeping up to date with the rules and laws affecting their areas of expertise. Ignorance is not a defence when it comes to the law, so engaging a lawyer will help you understand the rules of the game.
- Successful negotiation is an art
Unfortunately negotiating is not as simple as Suits makes it look. Successful negotiation is an art and it’s not always about digging your heals in. Lawyers work on a wide variety of transactions for lots of different clients and often have insights into the possible motivations of the other party which can be valuable when negotiating matters, terms and conditions in documents and settlements.
- Reduce your stress
Legal matters can be really stressful. From understanding your rights to having to deal with someone who’s opposing you in some way, having someone experienced in your corner and who understands your position can take a load of stress off. Regardless of the type of matter, your lawyer will work with you through the process, help you understand, give you options, explain the risks and be an intermediary between you and the other party.
- Suggest a different course of action
You’ve seen your fair share of legal dramas and you know how these things pan out – justice will be done. Unfortunately, in the real world, everyone’s version of ‘justice’ is different and sometimes running off to Court because someone has wronged you is not the most effective use of your time, energy and money. Lawyers understand the system, how much matters can cost and the time which can be involved in obtaining a result. Sometimes there may be a different course of action which may save you time and money, and a lawyer will be able to present alternative avenues to you so you can effectively weigh up your options.
- Save you time
In the age of ‘Google’ where almost anything can be found online and downloaded, it might be tempting to just download that contract template, change a few clauses and get it signed. Be warned, it is NEVER that simple. You need to spend time filling in the gaps and adding in and removing clauses to make sure the contract reflects your unique circumstances. You spend time looking up other templates to copy across clauses you think might be relevant and then you’re not sure what law applies so you spend some more time googling. Before you know it, you’ve spent way more time than you’d care to admit preparing a mishmash of a document which you don’t actually know for sure covers everything you need and who knows if it’s actually enforceable. If you’re running a business, this is time which could be spent actually doing business, making sales and generating an income. Your time is your most valuable resource, so don’t waste it on tasks which can be outsourced.
At Black and Blanco we have largely moved away from time based costing to value or fixed priced billing, giving you certainty when you engage us. We offer an initial telephone consult for free and can usually provide you with an indication of costs before you engage us so you can assess the value. At the very least contact us and have the conversation – your future self will thank you.