A law firm is a simple business entity formed by one or more lawyers, who look after the interest of their clients together. Lawyers in these firms can also allow other lawyers to work with them, who are called associates. In a law firm, all the partners not only share the profits and loss incurred, but also the risks associated with running the firm. It functions similar any other company, however in most companies lawyers cannot raise money through IPO’s, which is why conflicts of interest is often not there in this type of business.
How to choose a law form for your business?
For any business, finding the right law firm to handle all their legal issues and get better legal advice is very important. The following guide will help businesses to choose the best law firm for their legal issues.
a. Factors to look for in a law firm:
The first and foremost factor that should be taken in to consideration is to find a firm that has experience in working with businesses similar to the client’s business and understand the nature of the business. Also, they should be able to offer legal advice and explanations in simple, plain language, and not in legal terms. For start-up businesses, small firms are the best option because they charge less and value them more as a client. All solicitors working in the firm should have a practicing certificate issued by the law society, which the professional body for law solicitors. A qualified firm means, it is verified by the law society and so can offer better legal advice.
b. Searching law firms for your business:
The first place to look for a law firm is the law society. The law society can put individuals in touch with solicitors in the particular specialization or particular area, and also arrange for a free consultation. Other people to ask for recommendations include friends, people from similar businesses, accountants, bank managers, and local chamber of commerce.
c. Arranging a meeting with solicitors:
It is always advisable to see a number of solicitors and have a face to face meeting before selecting one. Questioning the solicitor, what they know about your business and its sector, will help enable you to make a decision on whether to choose them or not. Most solicitors charge fee on a per hour basis, so check out how much your solicitors charge. You should try and make them agree a fixed spending fee, so that you don’t spend above your budget limits. To this end, it is advisable to get quotes from solicitors before proceeding. Above all, see what other services the solicitors can offer you for the better growth of your business, and take advantage of the situation.
The legal market is very big which makes choosing the right law firm for your business a difficult task. A detailed research and a clear idea of what you are looking for in a firm will help you make the right decision and growth of your business.
he history of civilised human society is in many ways the history of law where the foundations of modern law were laid in the age of enlightenment and inspired by Roman law. Theoretically, it was a gathering of ideas, values and systems which provided the framework of morale and enforceable codes of behaviour for society to adhere to. Today, law is defined as the set of rules and guidelines which are enforced by a variety of institutions authorised to do so. It provides the written mediator of society, embedding what is expected of people and their behaviour. In the present, the system of law is now divided into numerous sub groups including criminal, civil, property, trust and administrative law, among others.
Lawyers are highly trained individuals who are charged with the responsibility of interpreting the law and presenting cases in front of courts who have jurisdiction to hear and judge on such cases. In New Zealand, the term lawyer refers to both barristers and solicitors, their main roles include presenting oral arguments in courts, researching and drafting court papers, providing written and oral advocacy in administrative hearings, counselling, legal advice, drafting and negotiating contracts, conveyancing, carrying out the intent of the deceased as well as prosecuting and defending criminal suspects.
The behaviour, code of practice and behaviour are regulated by the Ministry of Justice, as well as supervising the admission, licensing and regulation of lawyers. The institutions also empower professional associations, such as law societies, who are given powers to administer the behaviour and conduct of lawyers. The New Zealand Law Society, formed in 1869 under statute, regulates lawyers within the country; although membership is voluntary. The purpose of the Law Society, as well as upholding the code of conduct, is to assist and promote the reformation of New Zealand law. The regulatory activities of the body includes issuing practice certificates to lawyers and maintaining the register of lawyers, creating and enforcing practice rules, managing a complaints service directed against lawyers, as well as operating a financial assurance scheme and fidelity fund.
For lawyers, the benefits of membership to the New Zealand Law Society is access to the full range of services mentioned previously as well as the opportunity to make a positive impact upon the law that governs us. Following the code of practice results in better customer service which leads to increased client retention, as well as increased success in tenders and panel reviews.
The Law Society is a union for solicitors, and might also be described as a trade organisation for solicitors. They also have rights over the training, and qualification of undergraduate, and graduate lawyers. The main philosophy behind the conception of the Law Society was to offer, paid or unpaid, services and provide social justice for their clients.
Around mid 1500s there were two categories of legal profession, the first one was barristers and the second one was attorneys and solicitors. Solicitors usually dealt with landed estates, and attorneys helped their clients during lawsuits. With time, the two sorts combined, and a common name solicitors was embraced. Although there were many excellent solicitors, there were also some pettifoggers and vipers, who were insulting their very own profession by wrong practices.
In 1923 well known attorneys called a meeting, and they agreed that they should have form the London Law Institution where the service was properly offered, and standards were set. The term London was used to show that the society will enhance the whole nation’s services, and show their aspirations.
The society was formed on 2 june 1825. The society came to be known as the Law Society, although the formal title was The Society of Attorneys, Solicitors, Proctors, and others not being Barristers, who practiced in the court of Law and Equity of the United Kingdom. Then in 1903, the society changed its official name to The Law Society.
The society first proceeded to work against fraudulent practitioners. They got the right to investigate the accounts of a practitioner, and to award them with annual practicing certificates. The society also has an office, Consumer Complaint Service, that deals with complaints regarding solicitors.
Numerous lectures have been delivered in the Law Society with a focus towards improving their standards. Proper legal education was essential to improve the status of the profession. The Solicitors act of 1860 gave the society rights to set up an examination system. The society also went on to create their very own school of Law, which later became the College of Law. Later on, it became necessary for clerks to have one academic year.
The society had a strong agenda from the beginning, which enabled it to have powerful connections with the Government. The fact that they independently waged war against deceitful practitioners, was enough to bring them out into the open, and have a special relationship with the Government on the Law reform, and the formulation of legal policy. Today the society monitors, and maintains validating control over undergraduates and post graduates, training contracts, and ensure continuing professional development.
The services provided by this society have increased since it was formed. The society has a library, and a dining club to add to its impressive brochure. Due to the Gazette, that was launched in 1903, interactions between parties received a welcome boost. By 1959, advice to members on costs, licensed practice, and office management was made available. A Researh Unit was founded in 1988 that published a detailed analysis into the profession as well.
With the immediate suspension of Hips being “so last month”, the Law Society has reiterated its desire to continue with reform in the Conveyancing process. The Law Society has said reform of the house selling process is essential to meet the needs of the home buying market. The Law Society’s opposition to the introduction of HIPs has been strong and consistent. In its opinion Hips had effectively marginalised Conveyancing solicitors with a process, that was at best pseudo legal, and a worst an additional marketing ploy by new entrants in to the home selling and buying arena.
The Law Society stated that HIPs have led to;
“increased costs and a host of cross selling initiatives that were not in the consumers’ interests. The advent of HIPs encouraged estate agents and HIP Providers to vie with each other to gain the initial access to the consumer so they could be referred, for a fee, to other professionals and service providers which distorted the market. These fees were not transparent to the consumer”
The Law Society wants to revamp its TransAction scheme, which was introduced way back in 1989/1990. The Protocol included standard forms of Enquiries and a Fixtures and Fittings Questionnaire. A process which was badly copied under the HIP Regulations in the form of the Property Information Questionnaire (PIQ). The Law Society is recommending a revamp of the forms again to be provided in standard format.
Robert Heslett the Law Society President added;
“The professional integrity and legal skills which solicitors have traditionally brought to the housing market are probably more important now than they have ever been. The marked increase in property fraud, including registration fraud and mortgage fraud, means that the role of the solicitors as the gatekeeper in the process assumes a greater importance. This role falls to solicitors as the most highly regulated professionals in the process. Solicitors can help consumers understand the residential Conveyancing process, the role of the solicitor and others in the buying and selling market and to make informed choices.”
You might say they would say that wouldn’t they! What would be beneficial is for the reform process to be quickened, so that the consumer will see an honest attempt to fill part of the vacuum left by the demise of HIPs. This at a time where the new Coalition Government saw fit to axe a process with no thought or consideration as to what might replace it. In all the clamour surrounding the suspension of HIPs, no one has trumpeted a return to the “good old days” of slow Conveyancing, Seller and Buyer uncertainty and aborted expense.