“Lawyering in present, lawyering for your future”.
The problem with the traditional form in which clients use to act is that they only look for a lawyer when they already have a problem. This way, we cannot avoid them neither the grief, nor the tension, nor the stress. Besides, we – as lawyers – are much more limited in the way of action and it tends to be much more expensive.
Another problem with the form in which clients come to us now is that they look for information on internet, where they see the advice to another person that was in a “similar situation” and, thinking that they would save costs, they request the lawyer for a certain service. Normally, the client`s situation is not exactly the same of that another person, nor the solution is the best and cheaper for his own personal case.
For example, a client comes to the office and tells the lawyer that he or she wants a Will to be prepared. Probably, this is what he or she wants. However, if the lawyer has the chance to speak a little further with the client, he or she will tell him that he/she is going in for an operation and wants to leave his family protected in case something happens to him or her.
Knowing the reasons that motivates client`s requests allows the lawyer with a proactive mentality to give a more adjusted solution to the real needs of the client. This way, in the previous case, the lawyer could have offered the client different options: an enduring power of attorney, a business succession plan, or even a life insurance if the client has none.
It is the same with the companies. Consider the following situation: a couple of persons are looking for information on internet on the requirements to incorporate a company and, thinking in saving costs, they decide to do it themselves. Some years later, the company is sued and the partners discover that they are declared also responsible for the company’s debts because they did not follow correctly the steps to incorporate the company.
Knowing the reasons that motivates client`s requests allows the lawyer with a proactive mentality to the give a more adjusted solution to the real needs of the client.
Or another very common situation: the businessman who looks on internet for a model of a contract for the purchase of goods. In the contract found, the description of the products and the seller`s obligations are so vague, that when the product arrives, the buyer finds something completely different to what he thought he had bought, and also it has arrived when it is no longer useful. However, the vendor affirms that he has fulfilled the agreement.
The preventive legal advice try to prevent situations like the ones described.
As it is said in the medical field: “better safe than sorry”.
What is Preventive Legal Advice?
Preventive thinking is proactive, but is something more than “handling risks” or making that the company – or the individual – comply with the laws.
Proactive thought consists of anticipating (or to minimize) legal risks, but also to be prepared (like anticipating the evidence for a trial, foreseeing what documents would be needed and its best content) if there is no other choice than going to Court.
However, preventive thinking has nothing to do with “guessing”, neither it is speculative. A good preventive lawyer is the one who knows all the branches of law at length, identifies situations of potential legal and not legal risks, and quantifies the probability of the risk occurring and its consequences.
A preventive lawyer should not be timid, neither be afraid, to tell the client – to tell you – that he thinks that what you plan to do is a bad idea, even if the plan comply with the law.
The main function of a preventive lawyer is to advice you, giving you all the information about your decision, so that when you make it you do it being well aware of all the risks.
The main target of the Preventive Legal Advisor is that you know all the possible consequences of the decisions that you make, that you are not at all surprised by whatever happens afterwards. And if any of the possible consequences is that there ends up being a trial, then you have to be in the best possible position to be defended, because you prepared yourself in advance.
Big companies have internal lawyers, who participate in the Boards of Directors, precisely due to this reason: Because the expense in preventive advice is an Investment.
Does this mean that the small and medium-sized companies do not know the benefits of preventive legal advice? The answer is: yes and no.
They know of the benefit “generally” speaking, but they tend not to trust lawyers completely, they think that its service has to be very expensive, and they fail to see that the benefit provided to large firms also makes sense for them.
The Preventive Legal Advice results in cost-saving, in reducing tax risks and in saving in trials (the best saving is the trial avoided). In addition, it improves the confidence of the partners, improves the direction and the staff morale, facilitates the relationship with banking institutions and increases the benefit by cutting the legal and administrative costs.
All these profits are obtained both in the big companies, as well as in the small and medium-size ones.
But also there are benefits for the individuals. Because if you are an individual, a preventive advice will understand your needs and the social environment in which you move; it will prevent future problems in your place of work, in your health care, in planning your economy and in the use of your resources.
The main target of the Preventive Legal Advisor is that you know all the possible consequences of the decisions that you make, that you are not at all surprised by whatever happens afterwards. And if any of the possible consequences is that there ends up by being a trial, then you have to be in the best possible position to be defended, because you prepared yourself well in advance.
We have seen the material benefits, but we also have to bear in mind other benefits as to avoid you the stress, the anxiety and the emotional damage of a claim or a trial.
When a client understands the risks of not having a preventive legal advice, the money and time spent now is seen in the perspective of how much time and money is going to be saved in the future.
In other words, it is an investment: “it will be lawyering in the present for your future”.
As John F. Kennedy said:
“There are risks and costs to a program of action, but they are far less than the long-range risks and costs of comfortable inaction”.
What does it mean that the legal advice is “integrated”?
We have seen that a good preventive legal advisor needs to know your real necessities in order to be able to offer you different alternatives and help you in making knowledgeable decisions.
A preventive legal advisor would inform you proactively of the consequences of your decision, taking into account all the branches of law.
This implies the need of a generalist lawyer. That is to say, it has to be a lawyer with an extensive training, and experience, in all fields of law: civil, commercial, labour, administrative, fiscal and penal. Only this way the preventive legal advisor will be able to foresee risks in each one of these fields.
For example, the founding partner of Ypama Abogados has studied the whole Spanish legal system because she prepared herself to become a judge, she has a Master in Company Legal Advice by the prestigious centre “Instituto de Empresa” in Madrid (where studied all the branches of law from the commercial point of view, as well as marketing, accounting, macro and micro-economy, etc.); she has worked as an in-house lawyer for companies in different sectors (software, alimentation, real estate), and has worked in law firms defending companies and individuals.
However, if the problem should arise and the reactive defence is needed, the best thing to do is to have a specialist.
Let’s think about the medicine sector. When your family doctor comes to the conclusion that he is facing a serious illness, he/she will refer you to a specialist.
The same happens in the preventive legal advice: when the time to move from prevention to action arrives, the best thing to do is to have a specialized lawyer.
As it is not possible to be specialised in all branches of law, the law firms have two ways of action: – get to agreements with other specialists and work together; – or refer the cases in which they are not specialised to other lawyers.
The Integrated Legal Advice Plan that Ypama Abogados, offers you means that you will always be defended by a highly specialized lawyer, because either we are specialists in that field (commercial law, bankruptcy, town planning, property law, etc.), either because we will look for you a specialist in that other field, we will negotiate its fees in your benefit and we will supervise your defence.
We will not just refer you to that specialist. We will keep up being your lawyer, supervising and directing your defence, because we know your real needs.
The Integrated Preventive Legal Advice is your best possible investment in legal security and tranquillity.
As Einstein said:
“Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results”.
Thinking of you in Ypama Abogados we have designed some Special Plans of Integrated Preventive Legal Advice.
If you want to know more on the plans for companies.
If you want to know more on the plans for individuals.