What are the Major Mistakes when Choosing International Lawyers

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    When you start a business or just have some legal work to attend to, lawyers are one of the first people to go to for help. That is why there needs to be good synergy between you as a client and your lawyer. This is especially true when we look for our legal advice abroad. 

    The cost of employing a professional legal network from a foreign country is pretty steep. This is also an additional reason why there is no room for error when hiring an international lawyer. Here are some major mistakes that people make when choosing international lawyers:

     

    1. They pick a lawyer with the wrong area of expertise:

     

    Law by its nature is very technical and specific. Much like doctors, even lawyers are extremely specialized. If you need a lawyer for business then care should be taken to note what kind of business they will be handling for you. For example, a lawyer who handles Real Estate might not be well versed with intellectual property.

     

    2. They pick a law firm without the right connections and client networks:

     

    One of the biggest advantages of ‘going international’ is that this puts you in connect with top talent from all over the world. When running a business there will be a lot of minor issues that come up on the side. These issues may or may not be within your lawyer’s area of expertise. However, your global law firm network should be large enough that you do not need to get in touch with a new lawyer every time a problem pops up.

    Your attorney needs to be in a position where they understand how your industry works. In order to do this, they need to have other clientele who also work in your industry or at the very least industries similar to yours. Making sure that your lawyer does not represent any of your competition is also a very important thing to do. Although there is typically a legal code of ethics ‘it’s better to avoid having the same legal team as your competitor.

     

    3. People do not take the time to understand the legal fees:

     

    Hiring a lawyer for the first time sounds like a very exciting prospect. When meeting with a lawyer you need to know some of the basic charges. Even if you do however there are significant hidden charges. There are five main ways by which lawyers charge their clients these are:

    1. Hourly: This is the most widely paid fees when it comes down to it. Hourly fees are charged based on the number of hours your lawyer spends doing your work
    2. Flat Charges: This is an agreed-upon fee set by both the client and the attorney.
    3. Contingent Fees: These fees are paid only if your lawyer can achieve a certain target. For example, winning your case.
    4. Percentage Fees: Percentage fees give your lawyer a stake in the case you have hired them to address. This kind of fee serves as an additional incentive for your lawyer to win the case for you.
    5. Success Fees: Although this fee is pretty rare, professional legal networks are used as a hybrid between a contingent fee and an hourly fee. The hourly portion of the deal is still charged but at a lower hourly rate. In case your lawyer manages to win the case for you they will ask for an additional bonus fee.

     

    4. Their Lawyer does not communicate well:

     

    When dealing with lawyers, communication is very important. After all, they work for you on an hourly basis. When picking out a global law firm network you should feel like the firm gave you good attention. Your attorney should always be reachable and there should be a good point of contact. Do not pick a law firm without first finding out how they do their business and looking at the reviews from other clients.

     

    5. They pick the wrong sized firm: 

     

    When it comes to picking a law firm for your business you need to understand what your needs are and how big your setup is. There is no point in employing a big law firm that comes with massive overheads if your company is just a startup. 

    Looking to save money on law firms is also a very bad idea. Using a solo practitioner to handle a case that will require a lot of paperwork and traveling is unwise. To a cost analysis before taking any permanent decisions.

     

    6. They do not feel comfortable with their lawyer: 

     

    When it comes down to the basics, we need to feel comfortable with our lawyers. Clients who feel like their lawyers do not look after their best interests at the start of themselves are the first to realize that they made a mistake when choosing international lawyers.