L2 Counsel attorney Louis Lehot is used to working in his office, but since mid-March, he’s been working at home like so many in the legal industry, helping businesses and ventures with compelling technologies reach their growth objectives with sound legal strategies and solutions. And he’s been doing it in a full house whose members include his wife, two children, three cats and a dog.
Elizabeth had a quick discussion with lawyer Louis Lehot
Question: With millions of licensed attorneys in the United States, how does a startup or established business faced with a legal problem choose an attorney is best suited to advise the company and help resolve the issue?
Choosing an attorney for your startup business is one of the most consequential decisions you can make given today’s litigious climate.Says Louis Lehot
If you are launching a new venture, pivoting to reposition your current business, or having a business challenge, finding the lawyer who fits your unique situation is critical.
Question: Selecting the right attorney is a necessary process. Once you’ve found that lawyer, do you stick with him or her throughout the process?
Louis Lehot: Depending on your unique situation, counsel could change from who you started with at the formation to when your company pivots or scales in size. You want to partner with an attorney capable of helping a business grow and someone who can fix the legal issues as they arise.
Question: As with all things, asking the right questions is critical. What are some questions a startup should ask their lawyer?
Louis Lehot: Just as you would not see an oncologist for a heart condition, there are different lawyers for various problems? Below are some important considerations every entrepreneur should contemplate before engaging counsel to ensure the best fit for the problem to be solved.
• Availability: Your lawyer should respond to your phone calls and emails promptly and have a team that can service your matters on demand.
• Expertise: Your lawyer should be well known within the industry. He or she should have experience and formed hundreds of new start-ups. You want someone who has helped startups obtain financing, achieve revenue, enabled scaling, and brought them to exit, whether via IPO or sale.
• Network: Your lawyer should have a deep network of colleagues who can address most of the legal issues your company may encounter.
• Clients of your size and stage of growth: Whether your company is at formation, hypergrowth, or getting ready for exit, the lawyer you choose should have experience serving companies with your problem set.
• Fees: When choosing a lawyer, the discussion will inevitably turn to billing and fees. You’ll want a thorough explanation of the attorney or firm’s billing procedures.
Louis Lehot: This list will not and is not intended to cover every situation or to be exhaustive. There will be other factors relevant to individual circumstances. Nevertheless, this brief list should serve as a guide in selecting an attorney.
Elizabeth Lampert is a freelance writer, PR strategist, and savvy crisis communications professional