Check List and Golden Rules for Dealing with Lawyers

Time for some good advice from the other side of the Bar!

You're already using a lawyer or thinking of using one.

You may have one and he will be dealing with one on the other side.

Here is an invaluable check-list to be used WEEKLY as your deal or transaction progresses.

1. It's taken as a "given" that your lawyer has qualifications and works for a firm that has insurance, right?  Not so.  ASK.

Check that the firm you are proposing to use is actually registered with the Law Society and that the lawyer is also registered.

2. Ask about their insurance cover, what's the limit and what is their excess.

3. Ask about a fixed price arrangement.  Tell them you're not interested in hourly billing or time in line.  What they do internally is of no interest to you.  You want to agree a fee based on the % of the deal or a fixed £ writing!

4. Make sure that the lawyer you are dealing with is the actual lawyer who will do the work. If not, ask why not. Find out who the "point man" is and liaise everything through them.

5. If you are an entrepreneur and you work out of hours and at weekend, tell them so and get a mobile number for your lawyer.

6. If you expect a reply within the same day, make that clear.

7. At the start of each week, call up and ask if your lawyer is going on holiday or on a course or taking any time off at all.  If so, ask for the contact details of who is taking their place.

8. Double check the contact details.  If they give you a mobile number, call it up, make sure they answer and have your number in their own 'phones memory!

9. Make sure they will reply to calls or emails or text messages, even if the reply is simply to write "Noted".  If you expect this, tell them you expect it.

10. Tell them that at least once a week on a Tuesday afternoon at 3pm you expect an update.  Even if that update is to say "Nothing has happened" you expect an update

11. Golden Rule; DO NOT Complete a transaction on a Friday at the end of the Month - Make it a Wednesday mid-month.  You will thank me for this I guarantee it.

This list is not exhaustive.

If you think of anything to add....let me know?

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