Do you know what is your biggest obstacle when buying or selling a business?
|You may think it is the other party, the landlord or the
agent is protracting the transaction but you would be very wrong. In 95% of the cases, it is your
If you choose a solicitor because you think you know him, have dealt with him for a long time or he or she is reasonable with the fees. Think again. You are going to pay dearly in terms of time and money if you are easily blinded by legal jargon.
We have dealt with at least 2,000 different solicitors thus far, many of them on a repeat basis. In our experience, there are only a handful of solicitors who really do deliver or achieve your objective. Don't get us wrong. There are certainly a few solicitors out there who are good at their job and get praised regularly by their clients. Would you really want to recommend any company you do not have a high opinion of?
Here are some of the most common excuses we have heard from solicitors:
|a. We are waiting to hear from the other side.|
|Solution: Inform the client and the agent so that they can contact the other party and you will find that is not necessarily the case.|
|b. We do not think you should proceed with the transaction.|
|Solution: Your solicitor cannot be bothered as he has another more lucrative deal. Get another solicitor who can verify whether your solicitor's judgement is correct.|
|c. We are waiting for our client's cheque to clear.|
|Solution: Your solicitor does not trust you nor did he anticipate the monies in advance although he knew about this before the matter started.|
|d. We are dealing with another urgent matter.|
|Solution: You are not an important enough client or you are not paying enough in fees.|
|e. We have not had a chance to look at the file.|
|Solution: Just cannot be bothered at present. He will deal with it in his own time and when in the mood.|
|f. The solicitor is away.|
|Solution: He knew at least a few days or weeks ago that he was going to be away but could be bothered to let you know in case you harassed him.|
|g. The other side is not co-operating.|
|Solution: Call the agent and tell him to sort it out. That is his job.|
|h. We cannot agree the clauses.|
|Solution: Solicitors have no business sense. They will try to save you £500 and costing you a couple of thousand in the process. You need to make a business decision.|
|i. Our fees have increased because the matter has taken too long.|
|Solution: There should be no increase in fees as conveyancing is not rocket science. Your solicitor has most deliberately delayed the matter without justification. In any case, if the matter is delayed by any other party, he has probably spent that time on another file, not yours.|
The above is based on actual transactions we have dealt with, comments from clients and evidence in our numerous files.
Contrary to popular belief, most established business transfer agents in UK are more honourable and reliable than many solicitors who presently go bust at an average of 5 per week taking client's money with them.
A good solicitor will use the ability an agent has to communicate with all parties directly which is also provided by the agent completely free of charge.
Did you know that in UK law, it is not necessary to use a solicitor to complete a transaction provided you can agree that all the parties agree with the procedure?
Of course, if you have bought and sold 20 businesses, you would know the legal process but are by no means an expert and we do recommend you use the services of a solicitor but please be absolutely sure that you have one that really works for you (not the other way round).
If you do know a solicitor who has not used any of the above excuses, please let us know. We will recommend him to others and even pay you a finder's fee of £300 if he passes our test.
We invite your comments and your experiences with solicitors.