Law firms seldom tell you how to reduce the fees you pay them
but here are a few tips to help keep those costs down:
Do not do anything illegal or improper, e.g. conceal, tamper
with, destroy or transmit data improperly - the unwary can be
caught out unwittingly;
Before signing a contract, particularly for any new business
relationship, make sure that you get legal advice to explain what
you are committing to. It is surprising the number of times this is
overlooked in the haste to seal the deal. Think about price,
duration, obligations and approach it with the mindset that what
may go wrong will go wrong.
Keep a signed copy of the contract in a safe (and memorable)
If you have an important conversation, make a file note about
it or, better still, send an email summarising the conversation and
outlining what each party has agreed to do.
If you take photographs of a site showing a problem (or indeed
showing no problem) print those photographs, date them and write on
them who took the photographs and where they were taken (if the
camera is digital, the date may be imprinted automatically). Use
the camera or video function on your smart phone as well.
Keep your files in an orderly fashion otherwise the lawyer may
end up sorting through a year's worth of filing at your expense
to find important invoices or records
When visiting your lawyer, have the sequence of events clear in
your mind – a written chronology or perhaps even some dot
points to assist you – and bring all of the documents with
you (or at least the obviously important ones)
Do not leave coming to see your lawyer until the last minute.
With advance warning, junior lawyers can undertake tasks which, if
neglected until later, can become more complex and require more
senior (and hence more costly) and more urgent input.
The content of this article is intended to provide a general
guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought
about your specific circumstances.
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We discuss whether certain clauses commonly found in ordinary commercial contracts could be considered to be penalties.
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