LAWYERS & DEAL BREAKERS
Lawyers have often been branded as “spoilers” and the “deal breakers”; they cause business deals to be aborted by letting legal issues cloud business goals and commercial imperatives.
Being your lawyer, our responsibility is to protect your legal position.
When business imperatives prevent us from fully protecting your interests, we bring awareness of the risks to the forefront so that your business decisions are always INFORMED decisions; made with full knowledge of the risks involved.
Our approach: Better to go in with your Eyes Wide Open than to Plunge in Blindly, Hoping for the Best.
While we cannot insure you against business risks, we always have your best interest at heart.
Here is a cautionary tale – believe us when we tell you that it happens more often than we like, to the best and worst of our clients.
Our client was very excited about the prospect of new business through a joint venture with another company. The joint venture company was owned and operated by friends they knew well. Negotiations were conducted cordially over lunch and dinner.
Being a lawyer (as always) looking out for our client, we proposed to draw up a simple “joint venture contract”, setting out the agreement reached by our client and their friends on the scope of each party’s contributions, responsibilities and share of profits.
When presented with the contract, their friends were livid; they called our client to say that the contract was inaccurate and that the lawyer was misinformed, misleading and missing the point.
Further, they claimed to have been insulted that our client even consulted a lawyer for what was, essentially, a venture between good friends based on mutual trust and friendship. They were, in short, not prepared to sign any contract.
Our client wanted the new business enough to forgo “the legalities” – which was how his new joint venture partners had belittled our efforts.
Barely six months into the new business, the client was back in our office. Not because he wanted to sue his joint venture partners for not making good on their verbal promises (this came later), but because he was now facing court action by third parties seeking compensation for failure to deliver on services which were the responsibility of his joint venture partners.