Do you need litigation lawyers or a business law firm to deal with business matters? Does it even matter – after all, isn’t one lawyer pretty much the same as the next? For example, a Syariah Lawyer in Singapore won’t be much help in your criminal proceedings.
The law is a very complex topic, with many nuances. The qualities that it takes to make a great litigator in state courts are very different to what a debt recovery lawyer might need, for example.
When you’re choosing the right Singapore law firm to represent your business, you’ll need to know when to opt for a corporate lawyer. In this post, we’ll make it clear what a corporate lawyer does, and when it’s better to draw on their particular brand of expertise.
Corporate Lawyers vs Litigators
Corporate lawyers specialise in the day to day business. They might, for example, help get a business registered, deal with acquisitions, and draw up contracts. A corporate lawyer, if everything goes well, won’t even see the inside of a courtroom.
A litigator, on the other hand, is someone brought in when something goes wrong. So, if the other party in a deal the corporate lawyer oversaw doesn’t hold up their end, the litigator is brought in. They must then either resolve the dispute or argue the case in court.
Essentially, both need to know the law, but the skills that they need to practice it are very different. Hopefully, in your business, you’ll never need a litigator. That explains the difference a little. Let’s look at corporate lawyers in more detail now.
What is a Corporate Lawyer?
Corporate lawyers give advice on a business’s legal rights, responsibilities, and obligations. They tend to have a broader knowledge of the law as it pertains to business. In their profession, they need to be able to perform a lot of different functions and need to consult with many different experts.
Primarily, a corporate lawyer provides advice to corporations about their legal responsibilities, obligations, and rights.
What does a Corporate Lawyer do?
That’s going to depend on the size of the firm and how successful the lawyer is. Generally speaking, though, it’s not the dramatic closing arguments that you have fun watching on TV, but the more practical aspects of the law.
They’ll draft contracts, negotiate deals, help businesses ensure that they are legally compliant, and so on. There is a wide range of different aspects that the field of corporate law encompasses.
Here are some more specific ideas of what they can help you with.
Helping you to Choose the Right Type of Business Structure
Being a sole proprietor makes life easier in some instances because there is very little legal preamble involved. Unfortunately, from a legal aspect, the business and the sole proprietor are deemed one and the same. Being a sole proprietor means having no legal separation from your company.
A partnership, on the other hand, does offer limited protection, but there are other issues to consider.
If you’re just starting or deciding to take your business to the next level, getting legal advice makes sense. A lawyer will help you to choose the best option to protect yourself and the business.
Giving You Advice on the Rules and Regulations That You Must Adhere to
Ignorance of the rules is not considered a valid defence if you are running a business. You need to ensure that your business is completely compliant or run the risk of facing harsh penalties or even prosecution.
Getting advice on what your responsibilities are in this regard is essential.
Drawing Up Contracts and Reviewing Them
In business, you’ll be party to many contracts. You need to ensure that the ones that you set out are flawlessly drafted. You don’t want anyone taking advantage of loopholes that you might have missed.
On the other side of the coin, it’s just as important to be sure that you understand the implications of contracts that you might be asked to sign.
Getting legal representation for the drafting and reviewing of contracts is a solid business practice. It can save you from costly mistakes and help you protect your business interests.
Let’s take a quick example here. What about something simple, like your return policy. If the product isn’t working, the client can send it back and get their money back. The problem is that your idea of “not working” and the client’s view might be very different.
One misplaced word, or ambiguous phrase and you could find yourself on the losing end of a costly court case. The law is complex; leaving out a simple phrase could strip you of the legal protection that you deserve.
Financial Agreements and Mergers
What if you decide to merge with another company, or sell your company? The contract has to be airtight. There is no room for ambiguity or misinterpretations. Ensuring that you have a corporate lawyer on your side means that your interests are being protected.
Mergers and financial agreements are complicated, and if you don’t do your due diligence, you might fall victim to someone who has.
Protecting Your Intellectual Property
You need to ensure that every aspect of your intellectual property is protected. All too often, there are those who will try to capitalise on your business’s success. This could mean copying your logo or stealing your design.
A corporate lawyer will tell you how best to protect your business’s intellectual property. They’ll also help you enforce your rights in this regard.
Wrapping it Up
The law is multi-faceted and challenging for a layperson to navigate. In today’s business climate, you can’t afford to make a mistake. If we lived in a Utopian society, you could afford to take everyone at their word and believe that they’d do what they promised.
Unfortunately, we don’t live in that perfect world. If you don’t take measures to protect your business interests, you could end up losing everything. Hiring a corporate lawyer to represent you in legal matters is a good business practice.
It makes sense, just like it makes sense to hire a tax consultant or accountant. Get the best people to handle the mundane, tedious aspects, and you get to focus on growing your business.