100 Top Legal Tips for Businesses #1 – DIY Disasters


If your car engine needed a rebuild, would you tackle it yourself?

Some of the more technically-minded amongst us might have a go. However, the majority wouldn’t even consider it – and rightly so.

Just one example of an area of life where DIY-ing is not only, not cost effective but it will seriously hamper your chances of getting from A to B, too.

I’m always equally befuddled by businesses’ attempts to take the law into their own hands because if you think a messed up engine rebuild is eye-wateringly expensive, amateur lawyers have the potential to pale such problems into insignificance.

Alarming number of SMEs go it alone

A 2015 survey by the Legal Services Board – the independent body responsible for overseeing the regulation of lawyers in England and Wales – showed that 62 per cent of small businesses would not seek formal advice if they encountered a problem. And only 14 per cent of the 10,000-plus participants said they would go to a lawyer to sort out issues ranging from partnership break-ups to business acquisitions and employment disputes. Worse still, of those 62 per cent, 10 per cent were relying on friends and family as a sounding board, while the other 52 per cent said they would try to muddle through themselves.

Why is this? In my experience, concern over cost plays a part, as well as perceptions that preparing for what might never happen is not high amongst a company’s many conflicting priorities.

Sadly, the reputation of lawyers is often unhelpful – which is why we pride ourselves on taking a fresh approach to law, with a commitment to getting to know business owners as people, and caring as much about their company as we do our own.

Sadly, though, the evidence from the same survey throws all of these reasons into question. Of the respondents, between 30 per cent and 43 per cent of businesses, varying by sector, had experienced at least one ‘significant’ legal issue.

Unfortunately, time and time again, burying their heads in the sand like this results in firms losing out in potentially catastrophic ways.

You’re not alone – and here’s why

Statistics like the above make us sad, because, we’re passionate about helping businesses to succeed – particularly those in our home city of Hull and its surrounding region.

We’re here to support you, both as legal experts, and from our extensive business development experience. To help you on your way to brighter future, we’re launching this blog series looking at 100 Top Legal Tips businesses can adopt to help them succeed. Watch this space for insights from me, the rest of our dedicated business team and some of our campaign partners – as well as real life examples from some of the firms we’ve helped.

If you have a business issue or just need some advice on getting all your cards lined up, why not give me a call on 01482 974 471, or email me at nick.miller@jameslegal.co.uk

Check out our James Legal – The Business 2017 campaign, for more useful insights from James Legal and our expert partners; access to free business master classes and the chance to win one of two prizes together worth more than £30,000.

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