Who needs a lawyer on retainer? Before you respond to that question, consider that the U.S is one of the most litigious countries in the world. In 2016, over 2 percent of GDP ($429 billion) was spent on lawsuits.
That staggering statistic is the backdrop to this discussion. The bottom line is that if you have a business or service, the reality is that at some point, someone is getting to threaten you with legal action, or you will need to take legal action against another party.
In this article, you’ll read about the 7 benefits of having a lawyer on retainer. Not every country can be as proud of its Constitution as the U.S. With a highly developed legal system, though, comes the need to be well prepared for legal action.
1. Trust in a Crisis
It’s scary to think that those who have expert knowledge of the legal system are also able to take advantage of others. For this reason, there are mixed opinions about the virtues of the legal system and those that work within it. In short, you need to employ someone you can trust.
This is where a retainer is advantageous. Keeping a lawyer on retainer that you trust will mean that you’ll not have to think twice about who to call in a crisis. This is going to save you the huge stress of finding a trustworthy lawyer when you really need them.
Linked to trust is the ability to build a long-term relationship with your lawyer. This is important for so many reasons. You need to feel comfortable reaching out to them whenever you need help, without feeling intimidated or foolish.
2. Who Dares Wins
This is the powerful motto taken from an ancient Arabic fairytale and used by many special forces. The principle is about not hesitating. In the special forces, this comes from endless preparation and training.
If we do not have a lawyer in the legal world, our tendency may be to hesitate and lose precious time. By having a lawyer on retainer, you are better placed to initiate, respond to, and seek legal advice when you actually need it.
3. Control Your Costs
Legal consultations can be expensive and time-consuming, depending on your circumstances. If you engage a lawyer that you’ve not met before and is unfamiliar with your business, it may take hours and hours before they are up to speed. This is even before they’ve started actively doing something to help.
A phone call, just for an hour or two, with a prominent lawyer could cost you a lot of money. That might be money wasted as, in the end, there may be nothing they can realistically do in such a short period of time.
When you retain a lawyer, they will already be familiar with your unique circumstances and your business. They will be able to help you while hitting the ground running. This is going to save you unnecessary costs.
Depending on how you structure your retainer, some of those fees may go to your legal bill when the work is completed. The result is greater peace of mind when it comes to knowing your legal fees.
4. Confidence in Your Contracts
Contracts should create confidence and trust. Yet, in today’s complex world of law, contracts can be a minefield to the inexperienced. There are so many different types of contracts with their own ‘small print’ that you can easily overlook important details.
If you have a lawyer on retainer, then they will still charge you for looking at your contracts, but you will likely be able to negotiate a more favorable rate. This will better reflect the budget of your business rather than one price suits-all approach.
5. Connect to a Network
Your lawyer on retainer will have their own special area of the law that they focus on. This is part of the reason why you want to retain them. That said, they will be part of a wider network within the legal industry.
When you have a relationship like this with a lawyer, they will be able to connect you to others that have the knowledge and expertise you’re looking for. It doesn’t have to be all work-related. It may be that you’re looking for a good family lawyer, in which case, they’ll connect you with the right person.
Something few people consider is that a lawyer with expert knowledge in your industry may not want to work with you. They may prefer to work with other businesses that they perceive are more professional and serious about their business.
A retainer is an excellent way of demonstrating to your lawyer and others that you’re a serious going concern. This will allow you to engage the lawyer you want, and that can really help the business with their experience in the industry.
7. Leverage Reputation
Reputation in business means everything. Your reputation as a business and the reputation of your lawyer can do powerful things. For starters, it may cause people to think twice before initiating legal action, saving you time and expense.
Additionally, discussions between your legal representation and that of the other party may also help resolve matters quickly. If your retained lawyer has a reputation as a real expert, then that can help close down legal disputes before they get messy.
Hire a Lawyer on Retainer
In this article, you’ve read about the 7 benefits of having a lawyer on retainer. You may not have considered this before, and at first, it may seem excessive. Having read the 7 benefits, you’ll now clearly see why it is the course of wisdom.
In fact, having a lawyer on retainer may save you money and trouble in the long run. Plus, having a legal champion you can trust in a complicated legal world is almost priceless. Check out other must-read articles relating to the legal industry on our site.