What Do I Do?

Posted: June 3rd, 2009 | Author: | Filed under: What Do I Do? | No Comments »

You would be amazed at the number of people who ask me what my practice area is, and immediately after I tell them, they ask me a legal question (about say divorce) that has absolutely nothing to do with my area of expertise (business).  I thought I’d write a short piece that might help explain what I do.

I practice business and corporate law (which also means I don’t do divorces or litigation).  I consult with business owners and help them set up new businesses, buy new ones, sell existing ones, and guide them through their various business activities. 

I help clients, particularly start-ups, raise money to fund their business operations, through borrowing or raising private capital through issuing shares to investors.  I evaluate leases and business plans, and provide a sounding-board to business clients about strategic decisions they may be considering.  I frequently troubleshoot crises.

Clients often need advice on whether they should incorporate, and if so, what sort of legal entity they should use.  That usually drives a discussion on whether they should have a buy-sell agreement where there are multiple owners (they should), and the different circumstances that come into play where a business owner wants to leave the business, becomes divorced, passes away and so on.  That in turn very often morphs into a discussion of how business owners can retire, through transitioning businesses to family members, sale, retirement or some combination of these.

Since I have practiced overseas as well as in the US, I have a background in cross-border transactions where clients want to establish business in the US, or a US business wishes to establish an overseas presence.  Being close to Canada, this is particularly useful.

Working as a business lawyer typically involves looking at a client’s business as a whole, and making sure legal solutions fit within the client’s overall business goals.  The term “counselor” is probably an appropriate title in many areas of business and corporate practice.

I hope this helps explain what I do in a little more detail.