The choice of legal representation or advisor for your business is one of the most important decisions you will ever make as an entrepreneur. Every company will inevitably need to lawyer up or require legal representation for one thing or another at some point in time. It would be best if you had a legal advisor at the helm of your business to take it safely through the stormy waters of legal and financial matters and to make sure that the ship of your business remains on course. As a business owner, you want someone to represent and advise you on legal and financial matters to grow better.
“The choices you make now, the people you surround yourself with, they all have the potential to affect your life, even who you are, forever.” — Sarah Dessen.
You should carefully choose all aspects of your business (for example, marketing, finance, human resources, technology and equipment, operations, and even legal) because they directly influence the success of your business. Making informed decisions as to what would be best for your business is of paramount importance. If you are opting for legal representation or an advisor for your business, you need to consider the same amount of tact before making your final choice in this regard.
10 Mistakes to Avoid When Choosing a Legal Advisor
Individuals commit many blunders when it comes to choosing the suitable legal representation or advisor for their business. In the first place, we must consider several factors to reduce or eliminate the occurrence of such variations and to control it in the future. In some cases, the errors led to a great deal of loss, while others managed to avoid those mistakes thanks to luck. What are some of the mistakes you should avoid when choosing your legal advisor? Would you please continue reading for more insights? Let’s go:
#1. Choosing Family Members or Friends
Choosing a legal advisor who has a close relationship with you can be detrimental. At first glance, it might seem like the right idea, but in the long run, things might get complicated. It might end up costing you your relationship with that person. Avoiding the temptation to pick a family member or close friend can save your relationship. Sometimes you may disagree with the legal advice you receive from your attorney. As humans, this may cause a strain or a permanent end to the relationship. However, if you choose someone close to you or a family member, remember to keep it professional.
#2. Choosing Based on Feelings Alone
Do not choose a legal advisor solely based on the way you feel or the way you think. For your decision to be a good one, you should probably base it on facts rather than emotion. You might feel someone is not coming off right, or you may feel an instant connection with the person you want to hire. Nevertheless, emotions can be right at times, but they can also get clouded, leading you to make biased decisions.
“Don’t make a permanent decision based on temporary emotions” — Torrey Shannon.
You can listen to your feelings to a certain extent when choosing a legal advisor. The most important thing is to get it right; thus, you must allow rational thought to guide you when the occasion arises, as this is your highest priority. Consequently, if you think someone’s suitable for the job, you should not stop there. Do your due diligence in going further by doing the adequate research necessary to learn more of your intended legal counsel. Make sure you know everything there is to know. Gut-feeling could be right at times; however, be rational and decide based on facts.
#3. Failing to Ask the Right Questions
No matter how good the legal advisor appears or claims to be, you must pay heed to remain vigilant and ask pertinent questions throughout the process. Make sure that the questions you ask are not just any questions but the right questions. Be sure to ask critical and direct questions before hiring someone. Your watch phrase should be, ‘Never take anything for granted.’ Find out about the level of knowledge, experience, qualifications, and any other questions that you may need to ask the attorney you are considering. Make sure you have a clear picture of what you hope to get in a legal advisor and judiciously work towards it.
#4. Not Verifying Your Legal Advisor’s References Properly
One of the biggest mistakes you can make when choosing your legal advisor is not checking the status and references of your potential legal representation. It would be best if you found out the reputation of the legal advisor in their previous jobs. Were there complaints? Never forget to cross-check the references provided. Find out what they thought about your potential attorney under consideration. What role did they perform with them, and does it relate to your business? Also, checking online reviews helps you make significant decisions as well. Cross-checking your legal adviser’s references is vital in ensuring you get a trustworthy person in your business.
#5. Choosing Solely on the Pay
When choosing legal representation, it can be tempting to jump at the first affordable option, but refrain from doing this by all means. The service fee that a legal advisor charges can be one of the factors guiding your decision to work with them. However, it should not necessarily be the deciding factor. If you are looking for a legal advisor who offers the highest quality at the highest rate, that does not necessarily mean they are the best for you, and cheaper does not necessarily mean better. The nature of your business goes hand in hand with your budget, so you will always find someone that meets your expectations at the right price. Focusing on quality should be the priority when making any decision.
#6. Choosing Someone with Little Experience
Never choose an inexperienced legal advisor. When choosing a legal representation, people often fall into the trap of picking someone who probably has experience in a single line of business or has had a few years of practice, which is often wrong. They may not be familiar with your line of business. They might not give you the same type of advice and representation if their experience is more vast via handling varying industries. If finding someone with general knowledge proves difficult, you can always go for experienced legal representation in your line of business.
#7. Rushing Your Decision
Rushing into making various decisions in your business can be detrimental. It would be best if you eschew fast and erratic business decision-making, especially in choosing your legal advisor. You would want to choose someone who would adequately represent you and give you proper guidance and legal advice. So, take your time, make sure you’re ready in all aspects, your decision should never be rushed or made in the nick of time. Find out all you need to do and make proper and informed decisions.
#8. Not Knowing the Proper Fees
When choosing the right legal attorney for their business, people’s most common mistake is jumping in without drawing up a proper financial plan. Be sure that you know how much these services will cost, the duration of their payment, and so on. You must be aware of the exact amount of money you are paying for the legal support you receive. Regardless of what they might say, a reliable legal advisor should be straightforward and concise about the fees and costs associated with their services.
#9. Choosing the First Person You Meet
Thinking about the job to be done in choosing a legal advisor can be arduous. When you think about the inquiries, questions, and resumes you will have to go through before finding the right legal advisor, you could fall into the temptation of picking the first person who satisfies most of your specifications. As someone who wants the best for your business, you should never fall for the lure of choosing the first person who meets your criteria. Go through your list of potential advisors. Make sure you review and question each one. Then compare results and pick the one who seems best. Always remember that the first choice may not always be the best.
#10. Deciding on Your Own
If you are in partnered business, married, or maybe you have people close to you who are reliable, then you should never make the decision alone. For those who have business partners, this is a must. You can’t go solo on such a crucial decision. Get your partner or partners involved in the decision-making process. A good way of making the decision process more manageable is getting second opinions. Reach out to people that matter that can help you in zeroing in on the best choice. Reach out, most especially to those that have experience in such dealings. Find out their opinions and ideas and compare them with yours and make your decision.
“In the business world, everyone is paid in two coins: cash and experience. Take the experience first; the cash will come later.” — Harold S. Geneen.
In summarizing this piece, we see ten mistakes to eschew while choosing legal representation. First, choosing a family member or close acquaintances may not always be the best idea. Second, making a choice based on feelings alone could be a mistake. Always make a factual and logical choice. Third, failing to ask the right questions. Fourth, failing to check your potential legal representation’s references. Fifth, making a choice solely on pay can be elusive. Try to focus on quality. Sixth, choosing someone of little or no experience may spell doom for your business. Good experience is pivotal in hiring the most suitable legal counsel.
Seventh, rushing your decision is not always the best idea. Think through your process. Remember, less haste, less waste. Eighth, being clueless about the market rates for your potential legal representation shows that you may not be ready to acquire the services of an attorney for your business. Would you please educate yourself on what it will cost you? Ninth, being hasty to pick the first option without examining all the other options could land you in a load of hurt. Tenth, making a solo decision without leveraging your partners’ opinions or people with more information on the process.
“Sometimes, when you innovate, you make mistakes. It is best to admit them quickly and get on with improving your other innovations.” — Steve Jobs.
Choosing the right legal advisor for your company should be one of the most important decisions you make. You cannot afford to make mistakes during this process as you cannot afford to lose time. To succeed in business, you need the assistance of a reliable legal advisor. Making mistakes when choosing such representation should be avoided by all means. You want the best for your business. You must see to it that you meet all criteria adequately—the ones that have to do with you directly and the ones that have to do with the legal advisor.
Top 10 African Law Firms that have it Made!
Africa has a lot of law firms that have made a considerable difference in the legal industry and the lives of people. Do you want to know about the top 10? Please read all about it here.
The legal profession has existed for centuries dating as far back as the ancient Greeks and Romans. Here is a fun fact to relish—back then, unlike today, it was illegal for an attorney to charge a fee for representing another. It was a sense of duty and honor to represent the cause of another person in those days. So basically—and to the horror of legal practitioners everywhere today—law services were free.
“Law is one of the great healing professions; while medicine heals the body and the clergy heals the soul, the law heals societal rifts.” — Steven Keeva.
Thankfully and to our relief (mostly theirs), the law profession has significantly evolved into the thriving sought-after career it is today. Today many of us seek the services of lawyers and, more particularly, law firms in diverse areas of our lives, work, and businesses. From rendering legal advice to representing clients in civil or criminal cases, there is no doubt as to the importance of law firms.
Top 10 African Law Firms that Have It Made!
When it comes to finding the right law firm for your business or a reputable firm to help represent you in a case, the number of law firms in the law scene can be pretty daunting. Despite the ever-growing number of law firms, a good number of them have managed to stand out and stay at the top of their game, dominating not just their countries or territories but being at the top of the global law profession.
“The safety of the people shall be the highest law.” — Marcus Tullius Cicero.
Africa alone can boast many law firms that have emerged as some of the top law firms in the continent through years of reputable practice, hard work, and dedication. At the time of this writing, here are the top ten African law firms based on the 2020 rankings by Law.com International in collaboration with Africa Legal. The basis of the rankings focuses on law firms with the most significant total number of lawyers and geographical spread across Africa. Below are Africa’s top ten law firms. Let’s go:
The top African law firm known as Edward Nathan Sonnenberg is currently Africa’s most prominent law firm. ENSafrica aims to deliver consistent quality and world-class service! The South African law firm was established in 1905 and is one of South Africa’s “Big Five” law firms. With over 100 years of legal experience and over 600 attorneys, ENSafrica is Africa’s leading law firm. The reputable law firm operates in over eight African countries and has a wide range of practices providing legal services in varying industries across Africa. To check them out, Click Here.
Bowmans is a top South African law firm and one of South Africa’s “Big five” law firms. Bowmans help our clients overcome legal complexity and unlock opportunities in Africa. The reputable law firm has eight offices in six African countries and is the second top African law firm. Bowman’s legal services range from corporate to multinational and to state-owned enterprises across various industry sectors. To check them out, Click Here.
#3. Webber Wentzel
Also, among South Africa’s “Big Five” is Webber Wentzel, the country’s third top African law firm. Webber Wentzel aims to add value to everything they do and be the trusted adviser to their clients. The founding of Webber Wentzel happened in 1868. The firm allies itself with the leading global law firm Linklaters. They are headquartered in Johannesburg, South Africa, and have operations in two African countries. The reputable law firm has over 450 attorneys and is known for its impressive expertise and deep connections with other top law firms across Africa. To check them out, Click Here.
#4. Cliffe Dekker Hofmeyr
Cliffe Dekker Hofmeyr is a South African law firm and the fourth-ranking African on the Law.com International website. Also, a South African “Big Five,” the company’s establishment happened in 1853. The top law firm has a track record of over 100 years of legal support across key sectors in Africa and over 350 active lawyers. To check them out, Click Here.
#5. Werksmans Attorneys
The latest member of South Africa’s “Big Five,” Werksmans Attorneys, was founded in 1917 and is a leading corporate and commercial law firm in Africa. The reputable law firm has over 200 attorneys. It is part of the Lex Africa alliance—a legal network of leading firms in over 25 African countries, making it Africa’s most prominent legal cooperation. To check them out, Click Here.
#6. Adams & Adams
Awarded the best Intellectual Property (IP) firm in Africa over three years, Adams and Adams is a leading African firm specializing in providing intellectual property and commercial services. Adams & Adams’ business location is in South Africa. Its establishment happened in 1908, making the company about 113 years since its founding. Adams & Adams gas over 100 attorneys and several offices across Africa. To check them out, Click Here.
#7. Anjarwalla & Khanna
Generally considered the leading corporate firm in Kenya, Anjarwalla & Khanna is the largest full-service corporate law firm in East Africa. Founded in 1969, the reputable law firm has over 100 attorneys. It is the founding member of the African Legal Network (ALN), an alliance of leading corporate law firms that operate across fifteen jurisdictions throughout Africa and the United Arab Emirates (UAE). To check them out, Click Here.
One of Nigeria’s leading law firms, Templars, was established in 1995. They are one of the largest full-service firms in Nigeria, having over 90 lawyers and several offices in central areas and cities across Nigeria. First renowned for their top expertise in oil and gas today, the full-service company provides legal services across various sectors. To check them out, Click Here.
#9. Aluko & Oyebode
Aluko & Oyebode is a full-service law firm in Nigeria. The establishment of this law firm happened in 1993. As a leading law firm in Nigeria, Aluko & Oyebode provides services across Africa and internationally. It is one of the largest integrated law firms in Nigeria, with over 100 lawyers and several offices across crucial areas in Nigeria. To check them out, Click Here.
#10. Banwo & Ighodalo
Banwo & Ighodalo is a leading full-service legal firm in Nigeria, and its establishment happened in 1991. The reputable firm has over 80 lawyers in its employ. As a top-ranking legal outfit, Banwo & Ighodalo appears in several leading Nigerian and international directories. It has made the list as a 1st–tier law firm across various sectors. To check them out, Click Here.
Once again, the Top ten African firms have been chosen based on their rankings on Law.com International and African Legal. These rankings stem from the number of lawyers (attorneys) in each firm and their geographical spread across Africa. Although there is no single way to define a law firm’s success, size and geographical spread become the core determinants of success.
“The best law firms are the ones that put a smile of victory on the faces of the oppressed.” — Unknown.
Law firms are known for being “the best” because of their level of expertise, quality services, credibility, dedication, and widespread customer recognition—all these and more factor in the true definition of a top African firm. If there are outdated data presented here, we ask the law firms to update the facts with Oaekpost via our Contact Us page or email us at email@example.com. We invite these law firms to share more comments or insights that they would love the world to know.