Waking up to Law
What are you looking for?
What you are unlikely to want
This list could be longer, and can also very much depend on whether you have had a bad experience when dealing with advisors. A few examples may include:
“Never around”: it can be immensely frustrating for a client not to be able to make initial contact with their advisor. More so when messages are left and there is no returning call…
“Needing to chase”: waiting around for advice after an agreed time, or even needing to chase up to receive the advice is unnecessary stress for a client.
“Not being advised”: this can have different meanings depending on the client and the nature of the enquiry. Simply receiving the black letter law can leave a client unsatisfied and wanting/needing more.
“No empathy”: An advisor should care about their clients along with their ambitions and concerns. A client will sense that an uncaring advisor will likely be an ineffective business partner.
- Approachability: not just in terms of a personal touch and being able to get on with you and your colleagues, but having an understanding of your business, your challenges, as well as opportunities within your sector.
- Availability: and the comfort of knowing that your lawyer is always around when you want them even after a matter has concluded.
- Experience: not just in terms of a number of years of qualification (which speaks more to competency), but how effectively has a lawyer successfully concluded the particular matter you need support for.
- Efficiency: not just in terms of a swift turnaround for routine, non-complex matters, but being able to deal with challenging projects without causing further complication or headache for you.
- Going the extra mile: when you find yourself smiling because you benefitted from something else that you didn’t expect.
- Support: receiving an explanation of the law has its place, but you’ll more often want to receive clear, tangible and pragmatic advice to compliment your commercial outlook, that in turn can be effectively communicated to your teams enabling a definitive and actionable plan, which can simply give you the solution you want.
- Urgency: not just recognising that it is your timelines that are important and working with you to achieve those deadlines, but being up-to-date, pro-active, and keeping an eye on the horizon for you.
- What else: you may have an idea of something that you are specifically looking for, and perhaps there is something else out there that you would like to know about?
This then brings me to collaboration which I believe is worthy of inclusion also. Indeed more often it is larger corporates that tend to evolve and influence the nature of their desired legal service providers, by requiring those potential firms to also demonstrate and uphold standards and ethics that the client itself embodies or otherwise aspires to. Evidence of greater workplace and leadership diversity are such examples. You too may well seek to define a good lawyer as one who shares your ethos (environmental, charitable, staff well-being) who wishes to partner you throughout the long-term, contributing to your highs and supporting you when most needed.
I appreciate that the 8 reasons above are not exhaustive, as after all, this is about you and not me. Nonetheless I do believe that this is a useful starting point for you should you be looking to engage with a particular lawyer or firm.
“Jason is highly knowledgeable, and a genuine pleasure to work with. He clearly explained the legal nuances in plain English, and even provided helpful suggestions to the solicitors on the other side, which all parties felt had expedited the process. The result was that I felt the resulting contract was fair to both parties, and that my interests were of his utmost priority at all times. Highly recommended.”
– Founder, Digital Retail & Technology