In this series, we explore real-life examples that our lawyers have encountered where failing to seek solicitor advice has caused the clients concerned all manner of problems. Along the way there are useful ‘takeaways’ to help you avoid making the same mistakes.
Your solicitor plays a vital role in negotiating the terms when you undertake a corporate transaction, so hiring a lawyer with the skill and tenacity to get you the best deal is crucial.
We frequently encounter examples of corporate transactional documents prepared by unqualified people that could prove disastrous for the parties involved. Where possible, when we spot these issues for a client of ours, we strive to put things right. Usually, though, the client could have avoided being placed in this predicament by contacting a suitably qualified solicitor at the outset.
Below are two recent examples our Corporate Partner Mark Williams (pictured) has encountered.
Basic error almost creates obligatory sale
We came across a set of Heads of Terms prepared by an accountant that didn’t state they were subject to contract or not legally binding. Happily, we spotted this simple but potentially disastrous oversight before the client had signed them. Had our client signed this document, he could have created a legally binding contract to sell his company.
Lease blunder creates close call for business owner
Our client proposed entering into a lease prepared by a landlord and wanted to deal with this part of the transaction himself. We strongly advised he let us look at it and luckily he agreed. We quickly saw that the person purporting to grant the lease wasn’t entitled to do so. This meant that the lease was likely to be unenforceable, which would mean our client had no right to occupy the premises. As the lease was related to an expensive business purchase and occupying the premises was crucial to the deal, this mistake could have been catastrophic for our client.
Expert legal advice on business purchases and sales
Gaby Hardwicke’s corporate transactional solicitors have a wealth of experience in leading negotiations. We’re renowned for our ability to get the job done quickly, efficiently and on our client’s terms. In fact, we have yet to be involved in a deal, of any size, where we have not made or saved our client many times our fee.