Legal Health Check
In an ideal world all new businesses would have unlimited access to a lawyer from day one. However, in reality and entirely understandably, many start-ups do not prioritise legal support until there is some cash in the bank or they encounter a problem. As a result, the start-up's legal documentation and administration is not as organised or as legally watertight as it could be. This can lead to problems as the company grows and, further down the line, failings as a start-up can lead to problems if the owners decide to sell the business. For example:
- IPR ownership issues - if the original staff members were engaged as contractors or freelancers there may be questions over the ownership of intellectual property rights.
- Unfavourable contract terms - the business may have been in a weak bargaining position for contract negotiations with the first few customers or suppliers and the early contracts may therefore contain unfavourable terms.
- Unprotective standard terms and conditions - the business may have obtained its standard documents from a legal document website, and these may not be entirely suitable to meet the needs of the growing business.
- No written agreement between owners - it may not be entirely clear what the rights and responsibilities of the various business partners/shareholders are.
- Failure to comply with legislation - insufficient attention may have been paid to the enormous body of law in the employment, data protection, consumer protection and many other fields, which can lead to a whole variety of different problems.
If you worry that any of the above might apply to you, Waterfront's Legal Health Check can help! We adapt this Virtual In-House Service for each client's particular requirements, but typically the Legal Health Check involves reviewing:
- Intellectual Property
- Shareholder agreements, partnership agreements and incorporation documents
- Customer and key supplier contracts
- Employee contracts
Following our review, we produce a written report providing a gap analysis between your business model and your current documentation and IP protection, with recommendations where appropriate.
We often conduct a Legal Health Check when a business is about to be sold or seek investment, however, it is much better to get your legal affairs in order early on if possible – the earlier the better in our opinion!
The Legal Health Check can also assist newly appointed in-house lawyers, to help them get up and running as quickly as possible focusing on the assisting the growth of the business rather than dealing with a backlog of old issues.
To enquire about Legal Health Check contact us today.