You are likely to need a commercial solicitor for the really important transactions in relation to your business. You should make these checks before entrusting your deal with a particular law firm. Most likely you will want to contact and consider at least two to three law firms before instructing one law firm with your transaction.
Do the solicitors have specific experience?
You will need to consider whether the law firm have specific experience in relation to the type of transaction you are contemplating. Commercial law is highly specialised, and the solicitors that you have used before for something else may not be suitable. The law firm should be demonstrating to you, for example on their website, that they have the specific experience.
Who will be handling your deal?
Find out which solicitor will be dealing with your deal. You will need to be reassured that the solicitor has both the technical knowledge and the track record to guide the deal and help you make the right decisions.
What will it cost?
You should ask them for a written quote. As with any service, the solicitor should provide you with a full breakdown of the cost – including any VAT.
What exactly will they do?
You should get a good idea of exactly what the solicitor will do for the quoted fee. If you are unsure, don’t be afraid of asking questions. The solicitor should be able to answer you in clear and simple terms.
Can they meet your timeline?
Commercial transactions often have a number of deadlines. The solicitor should be able to give you an agreed timeline and confirm that deadlines can be kept.
Does the solicitor return your calls and reply to your emails promptly?
There is nothing more frustrating than not being able to get hold of your solicitor during key stages of the transaction. You should try calling and emailing to test this out before instructing.
Where are they based?
Although most legal work can now be carried out remotely, meetings are often required to resolve apparent deadlocks and in case of emergencies. You will want to be reassured that is possible if needed.
Can you get hold of them outside of office hours?
The unexpected does happen – you will want to make sure that, if necessary, your solicitor can be available in the evening or at weekends.