4 Questions to Ask When Hiring a Financial Services Lawyer
Here are some key questions to ask when choosing your financial services lawyer.
Whether you are a large or small business, you will need to access and raise finance. Setting up superannuation, insurance and other forms of fund management can be overwhelming, with many different options to choose from. The different risks associated with potential decisions can be well hidden, so it’s important to not decide arbitrarily.
A financial services lawyer can provide key legal advice on issues such as, licensing, mergers and acquisitions, insurance portfolios, capital markets, and superannuation. The regulatory environment surrounding the financial sector can be convoluted and constantly evolving, so it is important to engage with a trustworthy and competent financial services lawyer.
Here are 4 questions to ask when hiring a financial services lawyer:
1. What type of companies have you worked with?
Not only do financial services lawyers provide legal advice throughout the varying stages of a company’s financial needs, their expertise may also vary depending on the types of companies they have previously worked with. For example, if their clientele has mainly consisted of mergers between large companies, the skills they possess may not be applicable to your business.
On the other hand, a lawyer experienced in providing strategic assistance on how to navigate the complex regulatory requirements in your industry would be an appropriate choice for smaller businesses. Asking this question will allow you to judge whether the financial services lawyer is suitable to deal with businesses with similar needs and goals as yours.
2. Who will work with you?
It is no surprise that a lawyer working in a large firm will often have a team of staff members working together on a particular case. However, even family-run firms usually have a few junior members on hand at all times. Inevitably, some of your matters will be delegated to others in the firm, so it is important to establish who is working with your financial services lawyer in advance.
Often times, the regulatory minefields require a delicate and precise approach, so determining which aspects of your case will be dealt with by the lawyer and which parts by junior members can help you adjust your expectations. Further discussion regarding the competencies and training of staff members will let you ensure that no matter who assists in your case, you will be left in good hands.
3. What are the legal costs involved?
There are two main methods that a lawyer can bill a case. Generally, lawyers charge by the hour. This means that for every minute the lawyer works on your case, you will ultimately be billed for it. However, this can be quite unhelpful if you have no approximation of how long the case will take, leaving the final amount charged up in airs. In financial services, depending on the complexity of the matter, the time taken could vary from days to weeks.
The flat fee is the alternative method to billable hours. Here, after reviewing your case, a lawyer can offer you a fixed price that covers all the costs. This allows for a much more transparent final expense and enables you to weigh up the pros and cons of hiring a lawyer more effectively before committing.
Dedicated to providing reliable and affordable legal options, LawPath’s Lawyer Directory will connect you to financial services lawyers tailored to your needs on a fixed-price basis.
4. How will we maintain contact?
One major complaint that clients often have against their lawyers is the level of unresponsiveness they are subject to. Some lawyers may go weeks without answering calls or responding to emails, and this can be a high source of frustration to clients who require legal advice before a certain date. Financial services lawyers should be readily available to provide advice to clients as problems and issues can arise sporadically in businesses.
Ask about the availabilities of administrative staff to make sure someone is always ready to respond to your inquiries. To facilitate a more efficient relationship, it is important to establish a set means of contact that both sides agree on from the get-go.
Financial services lawyers deal with complex and evolving areas of law, so it is important to make sure that your lawyer is not only experienced but also up-to-date with new changes. The right lawyer depends on the scale of your business as well as the stages your company requires assistance in. You can begin your search for financial services lawyers on LawPath’s Lawyer Directory.
Require a financial services lawyer? Contact a LawPath consultant on 1800 529 728 or use LawPath’s lawyer directory to obtain a fixed-fee quote from our network of 750+ expert lawyers and get answers to your legal questions.
Diana is a Legal Intern at Lawpath working with the content team. With an interest in torts law and commercial law, she is currently completing a Bachelor of Laws as well as a Bachelor of Commerce at the University of New South Wales (UNSW).