Basic Reasons Why Your Organization Needs to Be Represented by a Good Corporate Bankruptcy Attorney

If you are running a business you need to be familiar with the ins and outs of bankruptcy because you never know when you might need to file for bankruptcy for your company. If you are already at that stage then this article will certainly help you out a lot. To begin with your search for a good corporate bankruptcy attorney you should first start searching for all those firms in your area that offer these services to companies. Try analyzing the reputations of each firm to judge which points are most favored in which firm so that you can choose a good bankruptcy attorney. Bankruptcies especially those related to the corporate sector are very complicated especially in America. Only the most experienced and competent bankruptcy attorney can help you with your case. This is why firms are especially set up with the sole purpose of offering the services of a good corporate bankruptcy attorney to other companies in need.

When a corporate bankruptcy attorney is filing for bankruptcy on behalf of another company he or she will most probably be dealing with so many diverse areas like tax law, contract law, real estate law, corporate law etc. Now if your company owns assets or real estate then naturally you will need to look for a bankruptcy attorney that has more experience in dealing with these areas too. Preserving your assets is the most important point a bankruptcy attorney has to be careful of when filing for bankruptcy on behalf of another person or company. The process for filing for bankruptcy is quite complicated and some small errors in this process can cause great loss. But if an attorney conducts it well the advantages are great and you can certainly benefit a great deal from it. The best thing about hiring an attorney to represent you is that you immediately get legal protection for your harassing and agonizing creditors. It now becomes the duty of your attorney to deal with all your creditors personally.

Unless you are in a very bad situation, your company will keep on doing business in attempts to make profits while your bankruptcy lawyer will deal with the part of devising plans to execute your bankruptcy well so you don’t have any complications when paying off your debt. There are different types of bankruptcies but the Chapter 11 bankruptcy is the major one that relates to organizations or businesses. Your bankruptcy lawyer will help create an image for your company that will reflect its realization of all its obligations towards its creditors and its responsibility to pay off debt while also earning enough time from court to enable your organization to get back on its feet. A well experienced bankruptcy lawyer will give you some invaluable tips on how to approach the court while also giving you some great tips on conducting business in a way that will help you get back in an upward turn.

Only a corporate bankruptcy attorney will be able to advise you well regarding all state laws that will apply to your organization based on the location of all its offices. It is always of immense important that your bankruptcy lawyer should file for bankruptcy only in the state in which your organization is conducting business. Furthermore other complications involved related to secured and unsecured debt that only your bankruptcy lawyer will be able to explain to you. Because of all these reasons it is quite important that you hire a well reputed and recognized bankruptcy lawyer.

Commercial Law – Why It’s So Important for Businesses to Have Legal Backup

The business environment can be tricky, and sometimes just plain nasty. Small businesses find themselves in a legal minefield/maze without warning, when a client, employee or business associate turns difficult. It’s always a good idea to have a working relationship with some commercial lawyers who know the business and understand the issues involved, to have someone on your side when you need backup.

Commercial law is often extremely complex in terms of its application to specific situations. Non-specialist lawyers often can’t help much, because this is a particularly demanding area of law. The sheer range of possible issues needs expert management.

For example, these are some of the areas covered by commercial law:

· Contract law
· Public liability
· Commercial practices
· Consumer law
· Commercial disputes
· Commercial property
· Supply chain issues

There are also possible combinations of these issues, and they’re never simple. There may also be multiple parties involved in a dispute, which further complicates the issues.

This is a typical case in point:

· Business A is a contractor installing kitchens for Business B. The situation is:
· Business A is waiting for kitchens to be supplied by Business C, an importer.
· Business B is complaining about breach of contract, because the kitchens are supposed to be installed by a due date under the terms of the contract.
· Business B further claims that an onsite accident was caused by Business A’s truck, injuring a construction worker.
· Business B is threatening legal action on both counts.

· Business A wants to put pressure on Business C to get the kitchens delivered by being sourced elsewhere.

This isn’t the sort of situation which a business can or should handle for itself. If legal action results, legal representatives need to be hand. They also need to get up to speed ASAP, to manage the situation. So it’s better to have legal representatives on standby at the start, not after the situation has escalated to the point of no return.

In this case, there are quite a lot of legal options:

· Business A can negotiate the contract issues with Business B on the basis that it’s simply unable to obtain the kitchens. In practice, contracts can’t be expected to require the impossible. Business A has been acting in good faith, and the efforts to get Business C to source the kitchens elsewhere is proof of its attempts to deliver on its contract obligations.

· The public liability issue needs to be assessed on its merits. The truck was in fact owned by Business C, delivering a kitchen. Liability may be on Business C, not Business A.

Not simple, is it? At the corporate level, issues like this can involve contracts worth millions of dollars, and corporate lawyers also have to deal with the related corporate law issues, which can be a range of statutory, as well as commercial problems as well.

That’s why small businesses need legal backup. They’re like insurance, something you pay for that you hope you’ll never have to use, but it’s nice to know you have the support when you need it.

Commercial Law – Payment of Commission – Commercial Agency Regulations – Commercial Agent

The case of Heirs of Paul Chevassus-Marche v Groupe Danone and Others (Case C-19/07) [2008], involved a determination on community laws relating to commercial agents. According to Article 7(2) of Council Directive (EEC) 86/653 (On the coordination of the laws of the member states relating to self-employed commercial agents) (“the Directive”):

“A commercial agent shall also be entitled to commission on transactions concluded during the period covered by the agency contract either where he was entrusted with a specific geographical area or group of customers… And where the transaction has been entered into with a customer belonging to that area or group…”.

Article 10 provides as follows:

“(1) The commission shall become due as soon as and to the extent that one of the following circumstances obtains:

(a) the principal has executed the transaction; or the principal should, according to his agreement with the third party, have executed the transaction; or…

(c) the third party has executed the transaction.

(2) The commission shall become due at the latest when the third party has executed his part of the transaction or should have done so if the principal had executed his part of the transaction, as he should have”.

In 1987, the first respondent in this case concluded an exclusive mandate with C. The applicants in this case were heirs to C’s estate. The exclusive mandate concerned the first respondent’s representation of C’s subsidiaries, namely the second and third respondents, in their dealings with the importers, wholesalers and retailers of their goods in a specific geographical area.

Before the termination of that contract, C requested payment of various sums. Such sums included commissions relating to purchases made by two companies established in his geographical area.

The requests for payment were refused on the ground that the purchases concerned had been made from central buying officers or dealers in metropolitan France, an area outside the control of the respondents, and without any action on C’s part.

C then brought an action concerning payment of commission.

The national court made a reference to the Court of Justice of the European Communities. The question concerned a request for a preliminary ruling on the interpretation of Article 7(2) of the Directive. The question referred by the national court was as to whether Article 7(2) of the directive was to be interpreted as meaning that:

“A commercial agent entrusted with a specific geographical area was entitled to commission where a commercial transaction between a third party and a customer belonging to that area had been concluded without any action, either direct or indirect, on the principal’s part”.

It was held as follows:

The court was of the opinion that

· Article 7(2) of the Directive had to be interpreted as meaning that a commercial agent entrusted with a specific geographical area did not have the right to a commission for transactions concluded by customers belonging to that area without any action, direct or indirect, on the part of the principal.

· Article 7(2) merely refers to any transactions concluded during the period covered by the agency contract. There is no requirement that those transactions had to be entered into with a customer belonging to a geographical area or a group of customers for whom the commercial agent was responsible.

· There is not an express requirement for action on the part of the principal, and there is no requirement for action on the part of the commercial agent.

· However, it should be noted that when considering Article 7(2) in conjunction with Article 10, the commercial agent’s right to commission arises either:

§ when the principal has (or should have) carried out his obligation; or

§ when the third party to the agency contract, namely, the customer, has (or should have) carried out his obligation.

· The presence of the principal in the transactions for which the commercial agent could claim commission was indispensable. It therefore followed that the commercial agent could claim commission. The commercial agent’s claim for commission could be made on the basis of a transaction only to the extent that the principal had acted, directly or indirectly, in the conclusion of that transaction.

· As a result, this meant that it was for the national court to establish:

“Whether or not the evidence before it, assessed in the light of the aim of protecting the commercial agent and of the obligation on the principal to act dutifully and in good faith, allowed it to establish the existence of such action, be that action of a legal nature”.

© RT COOPERS, 2008. This Briefing Note does not provide a comprehensive or complete statement of the law relating to the issues discussed nor does it constitute legal advice. It is intended only to highlight general issues. Specialist legal advice should always be sought in relation to particular circumstances.

How to Be a Great Corporate Lawyer

Average lawyers abound, good lawyers are common, but great corporate lawyers are hard to find. What is the mantra that makes a good lawyer GREAT? Great lawyers love what they do and it is this passion towards their work that separates them from mediocrity.

Step 1. Know your subject & law thoroughly. In-depth and sound understanding of the substantive law is a must. Know your subject, its nuances, interpretations and important case laws to have a command on the law that you are practicing. No amount of communication or writing skills can gloss over the lack of knowledge in law which comes from continuous reading & practice. Repetitive reading of law with an open mind brings different connotations and opens the door for creative interpretations. I have personally read same clause differently at different times which new perspective each time.

Step 2. Know the facts crisp & clear. Complete understanding of the facts of the transaction helps correct application of law as law applies differently to different facts. No two matters are similar so grasp the facts correctly to assess an issue. Misreading of a fact may change the entire structure and the end result sought to be achieved. My senior and mentor in law late Mr. J.K. Gupta had the ability to get to the crux of the matter by sheer power of crisp reading and clarity of thought. I continuously strive for that clarity.

Step 3. Understand the objective sought to be achieved. Empathize with the needs of your client, dynamics of the transaction and what is intended to be achieved. Alignment with the objectives of your client coupled with certain analytical & assessment skills helps in gaining long lasting confidence of the client. One possible way of gaining this insight is by having an earnest need to know your client’s business and by feeling the passion he/she feels for the issue.

Step 4. Know your environment. Make a conscious effort to read new developments in the practice area that you are specializing in; understand its dynamics, rules and regulations, latest amendments and changes in law and the transactions closed in the sector. This will help in gaining the confidence of the client and also structuring the transaction better. Client’s expectation from a good corporate lawyer is usually a mix of good legal understanding and sound commercial assessment/advice.

Step 5. Keep the Right Attitude. It is the attitude that separates mediocrity from greatness in any profession. Sincerely loving the work that you do makes all the difference to the advice given. Believing in the work one does and the clients one represents is important to ignite that all so important passion – so therefore do not accept briefs that you not go well with your own belief system. There are times when I refuse briefs/transactions that require me to render advice or undertake work that goes fundamentally against my value system. Reinforcement of one’s commitment towards work and aiming for the satisfaction of the client also helps.

Step 6. Focus on interpersonal relationship and be available when it matters the most. Learn to listen (and not only hear) to the viewpoint of not only your clients but also your opponents, support team, and other associates. Watch closely how they think and what makes them happy – stroke their achievements. Being intuitive and perspective is one of the toughest part of being a great lawyer and being available for most part of the day is the other. However, accessibility brings trust and dependability – so go for it.

Step 7. Have an eye for detail. Pay attention to details and be methodical in going through the check list required to close each transaction. Or else hire someone who can assist you with that work. Shortcuts can lead you and your client to some serious mistakes – ensure that the advice is not only complete but is also duly implemented. For instance, it is not only important to close an investment transaction in an M&A deal but is equally important that the follow up conditions required are duly fulfilled or implemented. One of the common slip that I occasionally note is that endless effort is spent in carefully negotiating the terms of the acquisition & shareholder’s agreement but post acquisition, the investor either fails or forgets to insist on amendment of the articles of association to record the terms & conditions of the shareholders agreement, making most of those rights unenforceable. So keep at it till the last condition is satisfied.

Step 8. Develop objectivity and a holistic approach. Learn to Step back and take a holistic view of the matter and then structure a transaction. Of course the ability to assess the strengths and weakness of a matter does not come overnight but by experience and habit of pondering over at every detail.

Step 9. Know your weaknesses. Get out of your ego trip and identify not only your strengths but also your weakness. Either work on your weakness or hire a support who complements you as a team. It is better to work on your weaknesses than to pretend that you are not. As a corporate lawyer, communication and writing skills are important so work on that area if this needs attention.

Step 10. Grow a team. There is only so much time in a day – therefore learn to identify talent and nurture them as a team. One never wins a battle alone – surround yourself with a capable support team who does all the good work under your capable supervision.

Step 11. Be honest with your clients. Last but not the least, being honest and transparent with your client never hurts either you or your clients. Watch out to understand the difference between creative structuring and adventurous advice bordering potential violation. Advise your client clearly on the merits and pitfalls of what is being proposed and then Step back to let your client take the decision. For instance, in PE investments in public limited companies, the funds usually negotiate for various combination of exit options which are generally unenforceable under India laws vis a vis a public limited company. But most PE funds nevertheless insist on these rights under an investment transaction.

In my experience as a corporate lawyer, the single largest motivating factor that keeps me going is my passion for work, satisfaction of my clients and the sheer joy it gives me. There are no classes that one can attend to become a great lawyer – what ultimately counts is the way we approach our profession and I still have miles to go…

I would be happy to receive your feed back or inputs or additional points that I may have missed in our journey of being a Great Lawyer.

The author is a founding partner of a Delhi based law firm LexCounsel and is a corporate and commercial lawyer.

The Role of Commercial Litigation Lawyers

If you own a business or are involved in any business affairs, conflicts can involve commercial litigation. In most cases, these issues are mostly pertaining to financial, property and contract problems. However, any commercial litigation involves business legal matters that could be taken to court. Nonetheless, when a business or an individual is dealing with any type of commercial litigation issues, he or she is advised to consult with a commercial litigation lawyer. Sometimes, taking legal resources in our own hands could be risky and could cost you or your business a fortune. Hence, it is advisable and practical to consult a lawyer that could help you reach a settlement outside the court of law.

Role of Commercial Litigation Lawyers

Commercial litigation lawyers are responsible for assisting and helping people involved in serious legal matters. In most of the cases, their main aim is to resolve any legal dispute out of the court even before the accused individual or business is presented before the court.

In normal cases, the resolution of dispute that is conducted inside the court takes a lot of time as compared to the out of the court settlement. When two parties are involved, it is often in their interest to engage lawyers to handle their cases and try to fight it out. Hence, these lawyers generally handle cases that do not necessarily involve conflict of interests; instead, they try to resolve the matter in the best possible way. Thus, if both parties are able to meet terms and come to an agreement, an individual saves himself from all the tragic emotions and his business from the grave loss.

Experienced and authentic commercial litigation lawyers are good at dealing with such issues and resolving it with utmost emphasis to both legal aspects of the matter as well as the business.

Areas of Applications where Litigation Lawyers are Involved

There are many businesses that benefit from the incorporation. Every newly incorporated company can enjoy the benefits of several tax breaks and additional advantages. However, to ensure all the procedures are done correctly, it is advisable to hire a litigation attorney to do the job.

Real estate is a very common area of discussion when it comes to commercial litigation. Also, company mergers and land acquisitions are sensitive topics under this subject. Thus, with the help of a knowledgeable and skilled business lawyer issues can be resolved quite easily.

Well, besides the above mentioned applications, these lawyers also have experience in representing their clients in legal sections such as, employment disputes, litigation oversight, construction disputes, breach of contract, general civil litigation, product liability, appeals and appellate review, insurance coverage litigation, business torts including restrictive covenant disputes, unfair competition, business interference, trade secret disputes and many such fields.