I qualified as a litigation lawyer in a highly ranked London firm in 2001. I dealt with all types of disputes – High Court cases, arbitrations, adjudications, mediations, negotiations etc. – where there was a dispute – I was there!
Contrary to the contemporary depictions of legal life on American soap operas, the reality of a young litigator’s life is that you have to trawl through boxes of files, documents and notebooks – figuring out the intricate facts of the story around the dispute as you go along. Ah! The joy of finding a key document that turns everything on its head!
Invariably – the key document in the majority of disputes is almost always the contract itself! Take a look at some of the errors that I’ve seen in my career!
Use of the wrong precedent contract that inadvertently turned a works contract into an employment contract
International contracts that have been entered into in the name of the wrong company
Services contracts that have failed to be specific enough as to the extent of the services to be supplied.
Whilst I was delighted that I was able to bring closure to each of these tricky issues – what surprised my Clients was the management time, effort and cost that was required to resolve issues which were almost totally avoidable at the contract negotiation stage.
It should come as no surprise that many companies have their own in-house lawyer – or even team of lawyers – to review and help negotiate all contractual documentation and actively manage their legal risk. Indeed, this has formed an influential part of my own career.
However if that’s out of your budget – it is still wise to have at least one individual within the business who has a strong legal IQ who can check the basics in commercial contracts and know the point at which its a good idea to go and speak with a commercial solicitor! After all “Prevention is better than Cure!”.
So – 5 great reasons why it’s a good idea to raise your legal IQ?
You will have confidence that the basics are right in your commercial contracts with clients and third parties;
Lower legal bills – since you will be in a position to manage the basics of your contractual issues within your company.
Better relationships with your clients and supply chain – due to reduced numbers of complaints.
Lower insurance premiums in the long run since less chance of there being claims against your business insurance.
You will have a warm feeling knowing that you are managing your legal risk – safe in the knowledge that you have the back up of an experienced solicitor who can answer the questions you can’t.
Andall Legal can help to raise the legal IQ in your business. We regularly blog on topics of commercial importance – so check the website regularly for updates. We also love speaking at workshops and can deliver personalised training sessions for your company using the documents you use in your business.
What will you do today to raise your legal IQ?
Get in touch if you need personalised help with raising your legal IQ or if you have specific commercial legal issues you need us to solve.