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Is No Win No Fee worth it as a business owner?

StrategyDriven Entrepreneurship Article |No Win No Fee|Is No Win No Fee worth it as a business owner?Unfortunately, as business owner things don’t always run as smoothly as desired and from time to time you may find yourself in a situation where expert help is needed to help remedy your problem. If you ever need to hire a solicitor to take on your legal work as a business owner, you may look to do this on a no win no fee basis. It seems like the most sensible option, right? “I don’t have to pay anything if I lose” you may be thinking, but when you delve into the process, what really do these four words mean for you?

What is a No Win No Fee agreement?

No Win No Fee is the term used for a Conditional Fee Agreement (CFA). Simply put, this is a contract between the solicitor and their client which allows them to charge their fees at the end of a case. However, this does depend on the outcome and will be highlighted to you as to how this works from the off.

If a case is lost, the client does not pay their solicitor’s fees. If the case is won, the client pays the solicitor’s fee plus an uplift on the fees at the end of the case. This additional cost is known as a “success fee”, which can be anywhere up to 100% of the base cost and is determined by the solicitors on a risk assessment of the case.

From April 2013 when the law changed, you are now no longer able to recover the success fee from your opponent, and are liable to pay the solicitor yourself from any damages you recover. Alternatively, should you win the case, this means you’re not liable for your opponent’s success fee either.

Why No Win No Fee is actually a good option as a business

It’s important to remember that a lot of solicitors will actually agree their success fee upfront with you, so if you’re looking to get a full picture of what the final cost might be should you win, always choose a reputable company who will be open with you. Doing extensive research in advance of choosing someone to represent you is key to how good the outcome will be for you and your business.

As a business, it may be beneficial for you to head down the No Win No Fee route, as it avoids you having to fork out and pay any hefty costs should you lose your case. These are often costs that many small businesses simply cannot afford to pay out for and do not make for a financially savvy decision.

Another offering to look out for from your solicitor is After the Event insurance. This type of protection covers you in the event that you’re liable for the defendant’s costs if you lose your claim. It’s just another assurance and will give you and your business even more peace of mind that your finances are protected! Making sure you take a full look at the services offered by the solicitor you’re thinking of taking your case to will put you in the best possible position for a favourable outcome.

Doing the research and getting the right protection is key

As with anything, make sure you research thoroughly before choosing your solicitor and ensure that you get the right protection put in place for you and your business from the start. This will enable you to be in with the best chance of you winning your case and also of also paying a fair amount in terms of additional fees when the case is closed.

7 Factors to Consider When Choosing a Business Attorney

StrategyDriven Entrepreneurship Article |Business Attorney|7 Factors to Consider When Choosing a Business AttorneyAt one point or another, every business needs to represent itself legally or handle some sort of court proceeding. When that time comes, you don’t want to be scrambling to choose an attorney at the last minute, as your selection will probably be rushed for the sake of getting the issue resolved as quickly as possible.

When you’re operating based on a panicked need instead of patiently and thoroughly comparing prospective attorneys, that’s when you’re prone to making rash decisions. Ultimately, you’ll be more likely to choose an attorney that is an optimal match for your company when you’re more informed about what to look for in a business attorney. With that said, here are seven factors to consider when choosing a go-to attorney for your business:

1. Achievements and Credentials

Any attorney can tell you that they’re the best person for the job, but their portfolio is what you really want to look at. A strong history of successful cases and a long list of achievements are usually good signs that you’re dealing with a prestigious expert. Beyond the accolades that are readily apparent on the attorney’s website or social media profiles, you can also find press releases related to their accomplishments by typing the attorney’s name followed by the terms, “achievement” or “award.” Alternatively, you can check out curated lists from organizations like America’s Top 100 Attorneys – you can learn more here about them and their lifetime achievement awards.

2. Determine Which Type of Attorney You Need

Having a one-size-fits-all attorney on standby is not necessarily a bad thing. However, when you need someone with a certain set of skills and experience to represent your business during litigation procedures, you’ll want a specialist who is familiar with industry-specific processes and requirements. Thus, other than keeping an eye out for awards and other accolades, determining which type of attorney you should have on-call will be the second most important factor to consider.

3. Look for an Attorney that Specializes in Your Niche

Once you know what kind of attorney you need, try to get even more specific about the work experience of your prospective attorneys. Have they represented clients in your exact niche before? Can they help you prepare and interpret documentation that revolves around an uncommon lexicon specific to your niche? In essence, you shouldn’t have to explain your business model and what you might need to your attorney. In fact, a competent attorney should already be somewhat familiar with how your business works and what you may require as soon as you tell them what kind of business you operate.

4. Choose an Appropriately Sized Firm

Choosing the largest law firm isn’t always the best choice. Sometimes, small or medium-sized firms can provide a more personalized approach at a more budget-friendly cost. Larger firms are typically busy with many clients and some would even say that high business volume makes a firm less likely to value each client individually. In other words, a major firm may not even care if you decide not to utilize their services any more, whereas a smaller firm or independent attorney will be more likely to accommodate your needs without hesitation in order to keep you as a client. Still, if budget and responsiveness aren’t your highest priorities, larger firms can be ideal for companies that need reliable guidance or on-call legal services.

5. Additional Social Perks and Skills

Let’s face it: legal services aren’t necessarily cheap. Thus, it makes sense that you should take steps to get the most for your money. Look for attorneys that are members of trade groups or other associations. Also look for an attorney who has an extensive social network that they might be able to leverage in times of legal need. Some law firms will even provide webinars, live networking events, and other online resources to keep clients informed and in touch.

6. Fee Structure and Billing

Sooner or later, price has to come into play during any comparison of a professional service. Most attorneys will bill you by the hour for their services, but some have begun to charge set amounts for predefined service packages. If they charge an hourly rate, you may need to deal with them for a little while to get a feel for how they bill for their time. Some attorneys are more generous than others in terms of the minimum time they will bill you for. One lawyer might nickel and dime you and charge a minimum of an hour for every single consultation or inquiry, while another may charge as little as 10% of an hour’s rate for short discussions.

7. Friendliness and Support Quality

Finally, don’t forget to take the attorney’s personality into consideration. After all, you don’t want to be dealing with someone who is hard to get along with, as you’ll be entrusting the fate of your business with this individual. Likewise, the firm that the attorney works with should have solid customer support and you should always be able to easily reach someone.

Choosing a Lawyer That Will Do the Job Right

There are plenty of lawyers who will come running to assist you with any business problem you may have, but not all of them will provide the same level of service and expertise. In fact, many attorneys rely on the fact that most clients don’t take the time to do their own due diligence in order to do the least amount of work possible per case. Look for a lawyer who has the “win or nothing” mentality.
You’ll often see law firms promising that they take no compensation unless your case is successful, and some will even take cases pro bono – with no money upfront – if you have a worthwhile case that will probably go in your favor. Regardless of which attorney you decide to hire, it’s always best to participate in an initial consultation as soon as you feel you might be facing court proceedings of any kind.