11 Things To Consider When Choosing A Lawyer

If you’re thinking of hiring an attorney, whether it’s for legal advice, court representation, or mediation, choosing the right one is always a must. The lawyer you choose matters because it can significantly have an impact on whether you’re going to win a lawsuit or not.

Furthermore, it’s critical that you hire a legal expert who can handle your case with professionalism and lead you to the best potential outcome. However, choosing the right one can be quite difficult these days.

With the number of lawyers claiming that they deliver excellent service, clients often have a problem deciding which attorney to pick. Below are a few factors to consider to help you choose the right lawyer for your case.

Years Of Experience

Experience is one of the most important selection criteria for a lawyer. The more successful a lawyer has been, the more likely a case will be resolved favorably. Experience can be measured in terms of length of service, the number of cases handled in a particular area, and prior results.

Hence, you should look for a lawyer with a proven track record in the area of your case. The longer an attorney has practiced, the greater their chances are of winning your case. Experience is crucial because it gives an attorney the perspective of their adversaries. It also provides them with the confidence they need to successfully navigate the legal process.

Moreover, experience also gives an attorney the knowledge to assess risk factors and develop winning strategies. It can make a big difference in whether or not an attorney is the best choice for your case.

Expertise In A Particular Legal Field

One of the most important factors to look for in a lawyer is their expertise in the area of law you’re facing. Many lawyers practice in different areas, but not all have the same level of expertise. Choosing a lawyer based on their experience and expertise can increase your chances of a successful outcome.

Furthermore, choosing an attorney specializing in your area of need is advantageous, as these attorneys are likely to be the best choice for your situation. For instance, a lawyer who has experience in the area where you need help is more likely to be willing to work on your case. This can be helpful if you find yourself in an unexpected situation.

On the other hand, look for an attorney with a proven track record in handling cases like yours. Find out how long the attorney has been practicing law and whether or not he has handled cases similar to yours.

Also, check out their biography on the firm’s website to see if the attorney has worked in the area you need. Aside from looking at their history, you can also ask the lawyer you’re interested in interviewing. In a certain sense, interviewing a lawyer is a great way to determine their expertise and personality.

Strong Reputation

The reputation of a lawyer plays an important role in your case. Having a positive reputation is important since a high rating makes potential clients feel more comfortable and secure. An attorney’s reputation is based on a number of factors, including the number of cases won and the opinions of peers and clients.

For example, Hopkins Roden Lawyers strive to maintain a positive reputation. Their success rate depends on how many cases they have won. A positive reputation means they have the highest ethical standards.

Meanwhile, if a lawyer has had a bad reputation, you’ll find it harder to achieve this.  Therefore, it’s best to hire a lawyer who has a positive reputation and has been recommended by many people.

High Level Of Confidence

There are several factors that can determine whether you feel confident in a lawyer. Confidence comes from communication, trust, and the level of experience a lawyer has. Thus, confident lawyers are also more likely to win cases and retain clients.

On the other hand, conviction allows the attorney to communicate effectively with clients and judicial officers. It also helps attorneys fulfill their ethical obligations. A lawyer is held to a standard of competence when they represent and defend their clients.

Significantly, confidence is a crucial attribute in the legal profession and should be in your attorney’s portfolio. However, it’s important to avoid hiring a lawyer who likes to make too many claims. Instead, consider a lawyer who’s confident and has a reputation for winning cases.

Must Have Established Communication Lines

If you’re in need of a lawyer, you should also consider how you’re going to communicate with them. The primary purpose of hiring a lawyer is to represent your interests.

Good communication skills between a lawyer and a client are vital to maintaining a healthy relationship between both parties. In addition to building a strong attorney-client relationship, effective communication between the two is also vital to staying within ethical guidelines.

Lawyers have a duty to communicate with clients regularly, and many ethics complaints stem from clients’ feeling that communication was inadequate. Thus, if you feel communication is lacking, you should look for another lawyer.

Attorney Fees

The cost of hiring a lawyer varies widely.  The most common fee arrangement is hourly rates. Depending on the lawyer’s experience and location, hourly rates can range anywhere from USD$100 to over USD$400 per hour.

Generally, less experienced lawyers charge lower rates to attract clients. However, if a lawyer has a stellar reputation, they can charge as much as USD$1,000 an hour. Meanwhile, if you need a lawyer for a simple case, a flat fee will work just fine.

Furthermore, lawyers charge a different rate per hour depending on the type of law practice and experience. It’s important to know exactly how much a lawyer will charge for your case before hiring them.

Moreover, make sure you agree on the fee upfront and read everything they give you. It’s best to get a written agreement with your lawyer before you hire them. If you’re unsure, ask them to explain what expenses are covered.

Strong Analytical Skills

The ability to quickly analyze information and make decisions is one of the most important qualities of a lawyer. Lawyers must be able to digest and sort through massive amounts of information to determine what’s important and what’s not.

In addition, they must also be able to analyze the legal standards and precedents and choose the most effective course of action. Good analytical skills are important for any lawyer, regardless of expertise.

A good lawyer should be able to think critically and logically. The ability to analyze events and situations will help them reach the best possible decision. Also, a good lawyer should be able to quickly and accurately research a case and offer solutions that are in the client’s best interest.

Client Reviews

Reviewing the client experience of a lawyer is one of the most useful ways to choose the best representation. Clients rate the performance of attorneys or law firms. Those who are satisfied with a lawyer’s work also answer whether they would recommend the firm to others.

A law firm’s website is an excellent way to gather information about an attorney. The website should contain information about attorneys and legal practice. This information is crucial in gaining trust and establishing authority. Plus, this helps potential clients make an informed decision about the firm.

Qualifications

Before you hire an attorney to handle your case, it’s crucial that you ask them for their qualifications. It’s essential that you check their certifications and valid licenses to provide legal services. Also, be sure to check whether a lawyer is a registered member of a governing body that oversees attorneys.

Success Rate

If you’re thinking about hiring a legal expert, it’s really important that you also look at their success rate when it comes to representing clients in court. You want someone who’s capable of winning your case and getting the right results.

Looking at the success rates and history of a lawyer is always a good place to start before making a decision to hire that person. Also, if a lawyer’s success rate is high, they’re more likely to take on challenging cases.

Geographic Location

Take note that laws differ by state. This means that you should choose an attorney who’s familiar with your local laws or requirements.

Hence, hiring a legal expert who’s knowledgeable about your state’s local laws and procedures as well as the personalities of the local judicial and administrative authorities can help increase your chances of winning your case. Also, ensure that the attorney you hire is located close enough to visit you quickly in case of unexpected problems along the way.

Final Thoughts

When you find yourself facing a legal issue, the next steps you’re going to take can significantly alter the rest of your life. This is why hiring the right legal professional is one of the most important decisions you’ll ever make.

Be sure to take these things into account so you can choose a lawyer that can deliver you the results you expect and be a beacon of hope in these dire situations.

Sources

Harrell & Harrell

LC Lawyers Has Been Ranked In Legal Media 360 – 2021 Edition

We are pleased to announce that LC Lawyers LLP has been recognised as a Hong Kong Domestic: Specialist in 5 ranked practice areas, 3 firm awards won and 2 ranked lawyers by Legal Media 360 – 2021 edition.

5 RANKED PRACTICE AREAS

No.3 in Equity Capital Markets, General Capital Markets

No.9 in Corporate and M&A

No.9 in Dispute Resolution

No.4 in Regulatory

No.6 in Restructuring and insolvency

3 FIRM AWARDS WON

National award – Technology, media, telecoms

Practice management – Client service firm of the year

Practice management – Pro bono firm of the year

2 RANKED LAWYERS

ROSSANA CHU

No.1 in Private Equity

No.2 in Equity Capital Markets

No.3 in Restructuring and Insolvency

No.5 in Corporate and M&A

KAREENA TEH

No.3 in Dispute Resolution

 

Legal Media 360’s brand sentiment index measures the overall business reputation, client satisfaction rates, and public relations achievements of Asia’s leading law firms and lawyers. Legal Media 360 covers over 1,600 law firms and 8,100 lawyers in 19 Asian jurisdictions.

Comparing Hong Kong’s Open-ended Fund Companies with Limited Partnership Funds

The Hong Kong government has implemented tax incentives and established regimes for re-domiciling overseas funds to Hong Kong. These moves make Hong Kong a more attractive place for setting up and managing funds. In this article, we will discuss the main differences between the two investment fund structures in Hong Kong, namely, open-ended fund company (“OFC”) and limited partnership fund (“LPF”).

Strengths of an OFC and an LPF

The choice between an OFC and an LPF depends on various factors including market practice, manager’s preference, background of investors and their familiarity with the structure, regulatory considerations, nature of the fund, investment scope, and tax incentives.

In general, an OFC can be established as an open-ended fund or a closed-ended fund, a standalone fund or an umbrella structure with multiple sub-funds, and a public or private fund. The following are some of the key strengths of an OFC:

  • It is a corporate structure with separate legal personality and limited liability.
  • Shares in the OFC may be created or cancelled to meet shareholder subscriptions and redemption requests. Such flexibility is not available to conventional companies incorporated in Hong Kong.
  • The law recognizes that the assets/liabilities in each sub-fund can be segregated from the assets/liabilities of other sub-funds, thus allowing greater flexibility in investment strategies.
  • Assets are entrusted to a custodian for safekeeping.
  • Private OFCs are not subject to investment restrictions.
  • Distribution of assets out of share capital is permissible provided the statutory solvency and disclosure requirements are met.

An LPF is a fund that is structured in a limited partnership form and does not have a legal personality. The founder/promoter is a key operator, takes the role of the general partner (“GP”) and has unlimited liability. Investors are limited partners (“LPs”) and enjoy limited liability up to the amount of their agreed contributions. The structure is used for the purpose of managing assets for investors as LPs and is a popular form of private equity and venture capital funds. The key strengths of an LFP include:

  • It allows flexibility in the limited partnership agreement between the GP and LPs, subject to certain basic statutory requirements, e.g. the LPs cannot take part in the management of the LPF.
  • LPFs are not subject to investment restrictions.
  • Its establishment does not require approval from the Securities and Futures Commission of Hong Kong (“SFC”).
  • There is no minimum capital requirement on partners.
  • No Hong Kong stamp duty is imposed on any contribution or withdrawal by any partner or on any transfer of partnership interest.

Key Operators

One main difference between the two structures is that the establishment of an OFC requires SFC’s approval. The SFC adopts a one-stop process for approving an OFC, i.e. the applicant only needs to submit an application to the SFC which will then liaise with the Companies Registry of Hong Kong.

Provided the legal requirements are met, an LPF can be registered with the Companies Registry. SFC approval is not required for setting up an LPF.

This different registration process is mainly due to the more stringent legal requirements on the operators of OFCs, such as:

  • An OFC must have at least two natural person directors of at least 18 years of age. More importantly, the directors are subject to approval by the SFC and must be of good repute and have the technical knowledge, ability and expertise to carry out the business of the OFC.
  • The GP of an LPF may be a natural person who is at least 18 years old, a private Hong Kong company limited by shares, a registered non-Hong Kong company, a Hong Kong registered limited partnership, another LPF, or a non-Hong Kong limited partnership without legal personality. The law does not impose the knowledge and expertise requirements on GPs, as in the case of OFC directors. Nevertheless, an LPF must have a responsible person to carry out anti-money laundering measures.
  • The investment management function of an OFC must be delegated to an investment manager which must be licensed or registered with the SFC for carrying out Type 9 (asset management) regulated activity and remain fit and proper, at and after registration of the OFC.
  • The LPF is required to appoint the GP or another person as its investment manager to carry out the day-to-day investment management functions of the LPF. The investment manager can be a Hong Kong resident, a Hong Kong company, or a registered non-Hong Kong company. It is not required to be licensed or registered with the SFC unless it conducts regulated activities in Hong Kong.
  • It is mandatory for OFC to appoint a custodian for safekeeping the investment property. The custodian must satisfy the eligibility requirements under the Code on Unit Trusts and Mutual Funds of the SFC, or must be licensed or registered with the SFC for carrying out Type 1 (dealing in securities)  regulated activity.
  • There is no requirement for an LPF to have a custodian, but the GP should ensure the proper custody of the LPF’s assets.

2020 Global Awards are LIVE

We have presented these prestigious Leaders in Law – 2020 Global Awards to our selected winners in recognition of both their excellent service & expertise in their field.

We have undertaken detailed research using our independent team to enable us to create a shortlist of up to 5 potential winners in each category. The shortlisted parties have been carefully scrutinized. We focus on service range, service type, geographical location, geographical location, how the business operates and the expertise each expert or firm can offer to companies that either trade or may want to trade in their chosen jurisdiction.

An independent awards panel in each country then reviews the shortlisted experts/firms and then chooses the eventual winner in each category.

To view the Leaders in Law 2020 Global Awards and Winners, please view the “Leaders in Law 2020 Global Awards” publication on the AWARDS page.

2020 Global Awards are now LIVE

We have presented these prestigious Leaders in Law – 2020 Global Awards to our selected winners in recognition of both their excellent service & expertise in their field.

We have undertaken detailed research using our independent team to enable us to create a shortlist of up to 5 potential winners in each category. The shortlisted parties have been carefully scrutinized. We focus on service range, service type, geographical location, geographical location, how the business operates and the expertise each expert or firm can offer to companies that either trade or may want to trade in their chosen jurisdiction.

An independent awards panel in each country then reviews the shortlisted experts/firms and then chooses the eventual winner in each category.

To view the Leaders in Law 2020 Global Awards and Winners, please view the “Leaders in Law 2020 Global Awards” publication on the AWARDS page.

UN Condemns Thailand poultry producer for silencing human rights defenders

A group of United Nations (UN) experts condemned Thammakaset, a Thai poultry producer, for alleged targeting of human rights defenders Thursday.

In 2019, Thammakaset allegedly used Thai defamation laws to sue and have prosecuted ten individuals who criticized Thammakaset’s labor practices for human rights abuses. The UN experts called upon Thailand to reform defamation laws based on the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights to prevent companies from silencing human rights activists.

Thailand is the first country in the Asia Pacific region to have a national action plan against human rights abuses in business. Additionally, Thailand has recently proposed to amend laws and protect human rights defenders.

Despite these promising actions, the UN experts recommended that Thailand take further action:

Although the adoption of the national action plan and the amendment to the Criminal Procedure Code to protect human rights defenders are positive steps in the right direction, it is time for the Thai Government to ensure that these measures are effective and that companies like Thammakaset stop vexatious legal proceedings against human rights defenders.

The report follows a March 2018 report to the Human Rights Council that previously called upon Thailand to reform its defamation laws for similar concerns.

KPMG legal consultancy arm coming to UK

PMG is to set up a legal consultancy arm in the UK, the ‘Big Four’ professional services firm revealed, as it reported strong growth in its global legal services business.

The legal consultancy is expected to launch in the next few months, though the firm has not yet disclosed further details.

This is but the latest signal of intent from the ‘Big Four’ and follows last month’s news that rival firm Deloitte has hired a former magic circle partner to lead its UK legal arm.

KPMG’s UK consulting arm will be part of the Legal Operations & Transformation Services (LOTS) offering, which KPMG says helps in-house counsel identify ‘technologies, flexible resources and managed services that can support delivery of legal services’.

In a separate announcement this morningm, KPMG said ‘rising demands’ for legal services had resulted in revenue growth for its global legal services arm of more than 30%. The practice now has more than 2,300 legal professionals worldwide, including more than 20 new partners added during 2018, it added.

Jürg Birri, KPMG’s global head of legal services, said: ‘Our approach is different. We’re not a traditional law firm, and we’re not copying the approach of a traditional law firm. We focus on offering our clients integrated legal advice and technology-led solutions and methodologies, in combination with a range of alternative legal managed services.’

He added: ‘We expect continued growth in 2019 as we eagerly meet the evolving needs of clients across the globe. Increasingly, our clients are being asked to implement business transformation programmes that need an integrated approach that combines business and legal methodologies, not just pure legal advice. We understand this and are able to deliver.’

In January, the Gazette reported on the opening of a KPMG affiliated legal practice in Hong Kong. An associated Shanghai office is expected to follow later this year.