Litigation and Your Business: What You Need To Know
Running your own small business is a truly wonderful thing. To create a working (or indeed thriving) business built on a spark of imagination and a whole lot of effort and talent is a huge accomplishment, particularly in a business environment where the multinational leviathans make entrepreneurship particularly challenging.
Most entrepreneurs are multi-talented folk who employ a range of skills in the day-to-day operations of their business but when they or their business is faced with litigations, many small business owners (understandably) are intellectually and psychologically unable to deal with the threat to their business, their brand and their reputation.
Owners of SMEs may need support in navigating this difficult and stressful experience in order to mitigate the damage to the growth of your business and put the unpleasantness of litigation behind them.
Don’t take it personally
When litigation is raised against you, it’s natural to take it personally, but though litigation may be an assault on your personal and professional reputation, it’s important to remember that you’re not alone. Small businesses everywhere find themselves litigated against on a daily basis for many different reasons. Fortunately, this has given rise to an entire legal industry arising from the need to protect the reputation of businesses and their owners, especially when unfounded criminal charges are pressed.
Find the right legal counsel for you
It’s important to find a criminal defense law firm or other appropriate legal counsel as soon as possible. Though it’s important to get the ball rolling as soon as possible, it’s important not to choose your legal representation arbitrarily. Take the time to research appropriate attorneys near you and though you may be stressed and panicking try to be as measured and considerate as possible when choosing a lawyer.
Having a legal counsel that you trust will give you the reassurance that will enable you to run your business properly. The key, after all is to mitigate the damage done to your business.
As much as you may want to bury your head in the sand and immerse yourself in the day-to-day operations of the business, it’s important to coordinate regularly with your attorney and be proactive, instead of dealing with the litigation as and when developments present themselves. This will prevent these developments from escalating and eating up time that would be better spent running your business.
Know your payment options
Legal counsel can be expensive with no guarantee of success no matter how much you pay your lawyer. For this reason, it’s important to know your payment options.
Contingent Fee Agreement (CFA)– Here you are not required to pay an upfront fee. Instead, an agreed percentage of your award will be payable to your attorney provided that they win the case. On the plus side, if your lawyer offers this as an option it’s likely they expect to win.
Damages Based Agreement– Similarly to a CFA, there is no money down, but you agree that your attorney’s fee will be taken from any compensation or damages you are awarded.
Third Party Litigation– Here someone other than a law firm funds your case. They pay all of the upfront costs in exchange for a share of the damages. Here you lose nothing in legal fees if the case is lost.