R. Shawn McBride recently spoke about the importance of knowing who your lawyer is representing. Here is the transcript:
Hey folks, R. Shawn McBride here with you live with a very important question. Who does your lawyer or other service provider really work for? It’s a question not enough people ask. It comes up a lot in my practice when I work with business partnerships. What’s shocking is when clients are talking to me and other potential counsel, this issue is not being raised by other people, which really gives me some concern. But, when I’m working with a business partnership, I have to make an important decision. Do I work for the partnership, everybody combined, or do I work for one of the partners?
Now, if I work for one of the partners, I’m their advocate. I do what’s best for them. I help them find the advantages. Some provisions. Buy out provisions, time pay outs, management clauses, the way we allocate money, can be better for one partner if they’re set up a certain way, but as good for all the partners. But if the lawyers brought in to represent the entire partnership, they really can’t point these things out and they can’t advocate for any one person. They’re working for everybody. It’s very important to understand who is your lawyer working for?
This also applies with other service providers. Who’s your real estate agent working for? Who is everybody working for? What are the hidden interests? You need to really think carefully about this. Particularly where I see a lot of my practice, obviously, is partnerships. If I’m working with a partnership, I need to be very clear who I’m working for. I have conversations with the partners to explain who I work for and make it very clear, because I don’t want misunderstandings. You need to be very clear who your lawyer is working for.
I wish more people were familiar with this issue. I want this word to get out there. If you think this is a worthwhile message, please share it. Let other people know about this issue. It’s critically important in getting partnership agreements right. If you’re a business owner in your industry where you’re seeing a lot of partnerships, joint ventures, people working together, I would love to come speak to your organization about these issues. Let me know how I can help you.
I’m R. Shawn McBride. Follow my public page, check out my YouTube channel, check out my blog, or email me about what’s going on. I’m here to help you and others. Make sure you let other people know about this page, so we can get them some content to help protect business owners, help them build companies that stand the test of time. R. Shawn McBride signing off until next time.
Each case is unique. Past results do not guarantee future outcomes. This posting is intended to be a tool to familiarize readers with some of the issues discussed herein. This is not meant to be a comprehensive discussion and additional details should be discussed with your attorneys, accountants, consultants, bankers and other business planners who can provide advice for your circumstances. Each case is unique. Past results do not guarantee future outcomes. This article should not be treated as legal advice to any person or entity. FreeImages PhotographerKerem Yucel.
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