Legal Services

What Can Our Lawyers Do For You?

Short Advice – Some people are just getting started and know what they want to do, but not where to start. If you are in this position, a short conversation or email with a one of our lawyers can help to point you in the right direction so you know what you need to do immediately and what can wait until later, giving you peace of mind. For example – A client (Matt) with an idea for a new website was looking for some guidance to avoid any potential pitfalls in what he wanted to do. A short advice helped Matt to identify how to avoid potential copyright breaches and still achieve his objective, before spending a fortune on website development.

Our aim is to help you find a solution, rather than say it is not possible or too risky.

Short Advice – You might also have a couple of very specific questions about your next step and just want to double check that you are doing the right thing, the right way so that you can move forward with confidence. For example – A client (Liz) wanted to add a new business name to her business as well as register a trade mark. There was already a registered company name that was very similar, and quite a few trade marks using the same words. We were able to talk through the variations to the business name that would be accepted for registration, and how to register the trade mark Liz was aiming for by using the appropriate classes of mark.

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Gaining Clarity – Got the big picture and struggling with the detail? If you know what you want to achieve but are struggling with the steps to get there, can help you work through the essential legal foundations for your grand idea and plan for your future. We can help you work to a budget based on your risk appetite and business income. Don’t know what your risk appetite is? Simple! Your risk appetite is the amount of risk exposure you are willing to accept to meet your mission, goals or objectives. For example – A client (Russ) was building a new online business with absolute minimum start-up capital, taking a ‘punt’ on whether or not it would actually make money. He knew what he wanted to build, but not what pitfalls might be in the way. We were able to come up with a plan identifying what was essential to get started, what would be nice to have once the business income reached a certain level, and what he must put in place once the income reached a point where he would be really unhappy about losing it!

Dispute Resolution – I once saw some research that suggested every business, even the best business in the world, needed to be prepared to cope with complaints or dissatisfaction from at least 3% of customers. Obviously there are other businesses (think power or telecommunications) that get much higher rates of complaint. Maybe your customers are very happy with you, but you are struggling with a supplier. Whatever the problem is, getting advice quickly, preferably before you waste too much time and before you contact the other party and really mess things up, can save you time and money in the long run. For example – A client (Mary) had received a complaint and demand for refund of $3000 from a customer directly, followed up with a request for explanation from Consumer Affairs. Because Mary had sent through the complaint and asked for help early in the process, we were able to help her put together correspondence with the customer that protected her position and offered a reasonable settlement. Having already done that, Consumer Affairs were quickly satisfied and closed their complaint. In the end, the customer signed a full release protecting Mary’s business, she gave a partial refund and each of them were able to move forward, if not happy, at least resolved.

Building Agreements – Have you ever read legal agreements that may as well be written in a foreign language? What about having a laugh at the legal terms companies like Virgin put together? You do have options. Our preference is to work with clients to craft agreements or website terms that suit their business image, rather than be restricted by legalese. You should be able to easily understand every legal agreement you are a party to. For example – A client (Rodney) wanted to work with a couple of other people to create a website and training program that they could promote around the country. One of the other parties had the expertise in training, one in web development and Rodney in marketing. We were able to put together an agreement that made sense to all of them as well as clearly setting out everyone’s different responsibilities and how the joint venture could be dissolved if anyone wanted out at different stages. Even though that project didn’t go far, two out of three were able to go into a different and successful venture afterward because they had built trust and avoided disputes by following their initial agreement.

Reviewing Your Deal – Can you imagine getting the best business proposal you’ve ever had and wanting to grab it with both hands right there and then, without thoroughly considering your position? Unfortunately we have seen people do this and end up losing everything they had. When the deal of a lifetime comes through the door you want someone who has the experience and understands your emotional involvement to review it and tell you how you can have it all. For example – A client (Brett) was referred to me by an existing client to review a fantastic deal. Yes, it was a great deal, but full of holes. He was putting $400,000 dollars at risk if he had just agreed to the deal put forward. We were able to give him a list of questions for the other party to help clarify exactly what the deal would look like in practice. As a result, both Brett and the other party were able agree on how it would work so that they both got what they were looking for in that deal.

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