Many small and medium-sized businesses avoid approaching a lawyer if they need a legal document, e.g. a contract, terms and conditions, a non-disclosure agreement, or a privacy policy.

Why?  The main driver is the perceived cost. After all, why pay a few hundred pounds to a lawyer when you can get a template from the internet or from one of the internet sites providing them?

This approach is a critical risk to any business.  Unaware of the legal implications of phrases and words it’s very easy to fall into a costly morass which could even result in the end of your business.  Looking at risk/cost, this really is a no-brainer. If you instruct a lawyer, you will save valuable manhours. Additionally, if the lawyer gets it wrong you can sue him/her and recover your losses.  If you draft a document on your own, you’re on your own.

Well, if it all goes wrong, you can then go to a lawyer, who will welcome you with open arms, and you will usually pay thousands of pounds – even if you win.  If you lose you will pay much more. So that few hundred pounds you saved doesn’t seem such a good investment after all.

“Over the last six years, drafting errors have generated around one claim in eight. However, over the same period, these claims have accounted for almost a third of the total of settlement payments, making drafting for us the single most expensive cause of claims. However, the bulk of claims occur in Company/Commercial, Commercial Property and Landlord & Tenant work – between them these areas account for 70% of claims by number and 80% by settlement cost.”

Source: Travelers Insurance Company Limited

It takes at least six or seven years to qualify as a lawyer.  Most of that time is spent learning how to draft documents which are fit for purpose and robust.  In other words, documents which will protect your business.

If this blog has made you think about your business needs please contact me for a free, no obligation quote.