Have you just been hired by a company that is making an acquisition? Do you know what a mergers and acquisitions lawyer is for? Are you ready for your new role as a business partner? Here is an overview of what you should know before signing on the dotted line.
First, what is an acquisition? Simply put, it is the merging of two or more companies to form a bigger entity. When people are really busy, they tend to forget that there are actually several ways to go about merging. For example, a business could decide to combine with another firm to form a larger corporation. Another option is to merge the production facilities of a smaller firm with those of a larger one to form a combined operation.
Before you sign any contracts with the company that is making the acquisition, you need an accurate understanding of what you are getting yourself into. You need an accurate understanding of fees, potential profits, the timeline, and other facts related to the deal. Qualified mergers and acquisitions lawyers should provide this information before signing any contracts or agreements. If the lawyer has not performed this service for previous clients, he should not be considered your choice.
Secondly, is there a way to avoid a mergers and acquisitions lawyer? There are ways to circumvent a mergers and acquisitions lawyer if you are not careful. For example, when buying smaller firms you can sometimes negotiate the purchase price with the owner using cash and/or warrants. This ensures that you have some control over the company while you are waiting for approval from larger financial institutions. Unfortunately, if you are buying a large company you will not be able to negotiate the price with the existing management because their retainer will probably cover most of your legal fees. Another thing to consider is that most large mergers and acquisitions lawyers only work with established large firms. Unless you are willing to work with an unknown firm, you will likely need to pay the fees out-of-pocket.
What if you are interested in buying a company that is already established? Do you need a lawyer who specializes in such transactions? You may need to find a specialized company to handle your transaction. Be sure that the new company is reputable. Some unethical practices include: hiding stock information, illegally changing employee benefits and payroll rules, stealing company assets, and filing bankruptcy. In order to avoid these complications, you will probably need to retain an attorney who specializes in mergers and acquisitions.
So, now we go on to the next question. How much should you pay your mergers and acquisitions lawyer? You should only pay for the services of a competent, ethical, honest attorney who charges fees that you can afford. It is important to remember that not all lawyers specialize in mergers and acquisitions. If you have the need for such a legal expert then find a lawyer who does.
Before hiring a mergers and acquisitions lawyer, you should also ask other attorneys in your area. Ask them how much they charge and what services they provide. You should make sure that your lawyer focuses on mergers and acquisitions as their expertise. If you get along well with your mergers and acquisitions lawyer then you will probably get an honest, ethical, knowledgeable attorney. Finding this type of attorney can be done fairly easily if you know where to look.
In addition, you should interview potential mergers and acquisitions lawyers. This is very important if you are trying to hire an attorney to take care of your business because you will not know what to expect from them until they sit down to discuss the matter with you. If you do not like the answers you get then you will not likely hire them. Make sure you feel comfortable with your mergers and acquisitions lawyer before hiring them. If not, you should probably find someone else.
Your initial meeting with your lawyer should take place outside of court. You need to have an independent viewpoint, so it is best if your attorney does not have an opinion about the case. He or she should be willing to share their opinions with you, but they should not force you to take their advice. In some cases, you may want to consider a referral from another source, so you may wish to ask your attorney if they can recommend another lawyer.
Another thing to keep in mind is that many mergers and acquisitions lawyers charge a flat fee for their services. If you have not yet decided on a price, do not hire a lawyer who is going to demand a percentage of your settlement or award. Many reputable firms offer a payment plan, and if you are unable to afford the fees, you may end up having to pay out of pocket. It often happens that people are able to settle their cases for only a fraction of their settlement, but in this case, you would not have been able to do that if you had hired an honest mergers and acquisitions lawyer.