Corporate Lawyers in Singapore
As a business grows, it becomes necessary to engage a corporate lawyer to formalise relationships with suppliers, customers, employees, investors, and regulators. Singapore’s rigorous legal landscape represents a challenge for any business to navigate through. It is crucial that businesses hire a corporate lawyer they can trust.
What can your corporate lawyer do for you?
As you search for a potential lawyer for your business, it is also important to understand the various legal services that your business would require at different stages of its development.
For start-ups or businesses in their initial development stages, some important areas to focus on would be shareholder agreements, fund raising, and statutory compliance.
As the business develops, corporate lawyers will also be involved in corporate governance, debt recovery and cross-border transactions. You may also wish to register trademarks.
Further on, your business may acquire other businesses, or engage in joint ventures. A successful business can also explore franchising. These involve negotiations and contracts that your corporate lawyer can advise on.
A trusted corporate lawyer will advise and aid you throughout the lifespan of your business.
What do you look out for in your corporate lawyer?
- Big or Small Firm
The size of the firm you would want to hire your lawyer from usually correlates with the current size of your business. Bigger firms are more equipped to deal with more complex and voluminous cases, though the downside would be the much higher fees they charge. Small businesses and SMEs are generally more suited to smaller legal firms, where cost is lower and more flexible arrangements can be made.
- Competency and specialization
It is important to find out what your lawyer specializes in, and that he/she will be well-equipped to deal with all legal issues that the business encounters. Even in areas outside of his/her specialization, a good lawyer is one who can adapt accordingly in a short period of time. Do not be afraid to be direct, as you would not want a lawyer who has little experience in debt recovery handling your company’s debts.
- Fee Structure
It is also important that you will be clear on how you will be charged, and if your lawyer will be open to any other billing arrangements. Check with your lawyer how he/she charges, be it a flat fee for specific cases or an hourly rate. Retainer fees where the business pays the lawyer a monthly fee for advice can also be explored. Choose an arrangement that suits the stage that your business is in.
- Communication and competency for your business
This point is easily overlooked sometimes, but is of utmost importance. Are you comfortable communicating with the lawyer?
You would want a corporate lawyer who gives solid advice to your business, constantly reviewing options and making decisions with you. Lawyers who give you solitary or overly-simplistic answers might not be suitable for your business. As you would be working closely with your lawyer, it is important that you feel comfortable communicating with him/her.
While this list is not exhaustive in helping you to find a good lawyer in Singapore, they are fundamental and crucial aspects to start off with.
Find a corporate lawyer you can trust
In most cases, your lawyer is your trustee and your fiduciary. He/She will share a relationship of trust with you, and will often handle your money or your property for you. Lawyers are also fiduciaries, meaning they are expected to act in good faith at all times, in their dealings with you and with others.
Thus, you should never underestimate the importance of finding a corporate lawyer whom you can trust and feel comfortable working with. Although you can never have total control over the actions of your lawyer, you can still ensure you have taken all the necessary preparation steps when hiring him/her.