My legal costs are exorbitant; do I really need a lawyer?

Hi Aunty B,


I want to reduce my costs next year and my lawyer’s bills this year were huge, as I have been forced into a number of legal actions on several fronts.

But everything I read says I need to spend more to get the best advice or I will regret it. What do you think?


Steve Vincent, SA.




Dear Steve,

Gee, Do I need a disclaimer here? (You sound quite litigious.)

First think about this. Are you under attack?

If you are under attack you need a lawyer – and a good one – to interpret the attack. Their legal protection will act as a shield.

If you are preparing a defence, you can do more of that work yourself.


But Steve, maybe you need a shrink, not a lawyer. Next time you reach for the bat phone, ask yourself – is this about a legal issue or about relationships – and work on the relationship. Remember that resorting to the law makes it harder in the end. (Think back to your last divorce.)


But probably the best advice is to hire burnt-out lawyers in your business (there are plenty) and pick their brains for free. Or hang out around the courts and pick up some new legal friends.


As for basic contracts: try those yourself. Don’t be intimidated. If you have half a brain (and I assume you have more if you are a loyal SmartCompany reader), you can draft up basic legal agreements yourself and then hand them to the lawyer.

It’s good to have a rudimentary understanding of the legal basis for contracts anyway so you know the detail of the deal. And always remember if the document clearly states the intent of both parties it will stand up in court.

Now I am off to work on my disclaimer…


Aunty B


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