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Business Lawyer Washington, DC

Business Lawyer Washington, DC

Business Lawyer Washington, DC

When you need the help of a business lawyer in Washington, DC, call the business lawyers at Brown Kiely, LLP now! 

What Is a Strategic Acquisition?

A succession plan for your business is not just a plan that states what happens when you retire or decide to leave your business. It can be used for all levels of employees as a contingency plan when employees retire, resign, get sick, fired, or pass away. It is a means to identify and develop employees that you feel may become future leaders of your company, not just at the executive level but at all levels. 

Our team has a lot of experience in strategic acquisitions. A strategic acquisition is the purchase of company A by company B using stock or cash so that company B can gain a strategic advantage over competing companies. Company B can eliminate a competitor by buying them out, expanding production, or by acquiring the materials for a competitor’s product. There are also various reasons an acquisition can be extremely valuable.

Having a succession plan in place helps businesses prepare for any circumstances by knowing in advance which workers are qualified and trained to move up in the company. This is an important part of a business’ plan and is needed to keep continuity when personnel leaves unexpectedly or otherwise. These plans avert potential organizational chaos and keep the company running without any negative impact. Identifying future leaders is good for employee morale and can increase employee retention.

Having a succession plan is smart for any size business, whether it is a large corporation or a small, family-owned operation. To have one, you should talk with our team from the office of Brown Kiely, LLP. 

Strategies for Developing a Successful Succession Plan:

Plan Ahead and Be Proactive

Identify prospective employees or candidates you feel would do well in a leadership role. Assign that employee an executive mentor to help train and develop for a possible role in management. This provides you with a safety net in the event someone in management leaves unexpectedly.

Cultivate the Talents of All Your Employees

Do not just look at the next in line as far as titles are concerned. As our team may explain to you, examine all your employees’ talents and skills regardless of their current positions. Keep records of employee’s achievements and successes. These notes will be helpful when a position in management becomes available. Note the work ethics and attitudes of these employees and use these notes in performance reviews. 

Once you have identified your future leaders, have them work closely with their mentors to learn new skills and develop their existing skills. They can do this by meeting one-on-one with their mentor on a regular basis or by job shadowing and training. If you don’t know how to do this, you can speak with a business lawyer.

Share Your Vision of Succession

Hold strategy meetings with potential managers to help enhance and develop leadership and planning skills. Share with them the vision you have for the future of your business. If you have a large company, you may wish to share your succession plan with your board of directors or your director of human resources.

Give Your Successor a Chance to Lead

Take a vacation and let the employee you’ve been grooming assume your role while you are away. This will be a good indication of how ready they are — or not prepared — to take on a bigger role in your company.

A business lawyer can advise you on some strategies for making a smooth succession from your business from a legal standpoint. There are several documents that need to be in place and steps to take if you, as the owner of the company, decide to step down from running the company but want to be sure to leave its future in capable hands. If business succession is something that you are unsure about, or you have partners, you may want to consider a strategic acquisition. To learn more, please call our team.

We realize that sometimes buying another company isn’t the right move. A few ways to grow your business can be by adding employees, opening another branch of your business, or increasing your marketing and advertisements. If this isn’t sufficient, you may consider a strategic acquisition.

After entering a strategic acquisition, two companies can produce things at a much cheaper cost by achieving economies of scale. This means they lower the average cost of production by increasing the amount of production.

How Do You Handle Conflicts With Business Partners?

When business partners first come together with shared goals, they often do so with good intentions. Over time, partners may experience conflict that threatens to derail the business or delay forward momentum. While a business lawyer in Washington, DC, from Brown Kiely Law LLP, could help, partners may try settling the matter themselves first. Here are a few tips for navigating partner conflict.

Get Proactive

It makes sense that business partners head off conflict and disaster well before they happen. When partners know each other well, they have an idea of what could cause infighting. For instance, during a busy time of year for a specific industry, partners may discuss how to divide the workload amongst themselves. That way, they stand less of a chance of one partner feeling like she or he does most of the heavy lifting while everyone else benefits from the individual’s long hours and dedication. By mapping out everything in advance with help from an experienced business lawyer in Washington, DC, business partners get clear on the division of labor and their responsibilities.

Be Slow To Judge

When conflict starts, business partners must try to second-guess their knee-jerk reactions. Partners may become especially sensitive about ideas they have that others do not accept or understand, which could cause a person to shut down emotionally or become defensive. Neither reaction helps get things back on track.

When business colleagues carve out time and space to stop, breathe and get curious rather than judgmental, they may better avoid unnecessary arguments. Trying to see the situation from the other person’s perspective could help, and the same goes for staying focused on the bigger picture. Partners must remember the reason they went into business together and the strengths and resources each person brings to the table. Asking questions rather than succumbing to reflexive emotional reactions could keep conflict at bay.

Conduct Active Listening Sessions

When disagreements bubble up, it could help to have active listening sessions. During these sessions, partners agree to sit down and listen to each other’s perspectives without interrupting. Sitting without reacting or speaking for three to five minutes could help partners reach an understanding and devise a viable solution. Depending on the issue, it could help to consult with a legal advocate from Brown Kiely Law LLP. That way, all parties involved have a better chance of protecting their business and commercial interests according to law.

Other Reasons to Enter into a Business Acquisition:

Expanding Your Business

Typically it is cheaper to buy a company elsewhere and use it to create more business for your company instead of starting a brand new company in the area. This is also helpful when you are looking to increase output or move production to somewhere like a warehouse. If your company does acquire a warehouse from the former company, then you don’t need to worry about approvals from the city or obtaining city permits because the former company already has them.

Inheriting Clientele

Clientele and connections of company A is researched thoroughly before a strategic acquisition by Company B. and their clients become the buying business’ clients. Sometimes companies keep the former CEO on as an advisor to keep those clientele relationships, especially with foreign industries and governments. The former CEO can maintain these relationships and add new ones as well.

Gaining New Products

We know that when company B buys company A, they may also gain new products to help them conduct business. For example, if company B needs a particular software program to help them with time card management and company A has already patented and developed it, then that is an extreme benefit of their strategic acquisition.

How can a business lawyer help with business mediation?

Mediation is a useful tool for resolving conflicts between two or more people. Despite its simple nature, many people do not have a good understanding of what mediation is or how it works. To complicate matters, there is also business mediation, which is slightly different. Learn all the ins and outs of mediation with the help of a Washington, DC lawyer for business legalities.

What Mediation Is

Mediation is often called arbitration, but it is the same thing. You can think of mediation as a lighter version of a lawsuit, except there are usually not a defendant and plaintiff. If two people disagree about something, they can go to mediation and have an unbiased third party make a decision. Both sides have a chance to make their argument and the third party, who is called the arbitrator, decides who is right.

When you go to mediation, you will have to pay the arbitrator for his or her services. The fee is usually on an hourly basis. You can decide in advance whether or not you will hold the decision of the arbitrator to be legally binding. Many people go to mediation to get an outside perspective, and then use it to make their decision themselves.

How Business Mediation Is Different

Some businesses employ an arbitrator. If there is a disagreement among employees, they will sometimes have to go to the staff arbitrator to come to a resolution. This is what is called business mediation or corporate mediation. This is usually only employed in very large corporations. For smaller businesses, you should simply go to traditional arbitration.

Why Use Mediation?

  • Mediation is much less expensive than a full lawsuit. 
  • Mediation is very fast. The longest mediation sessions will last a few days. Much more often, the conflict is resolved in only a few hours. Even the simplest lawsuits almost always take months to resolve and can even last years in some cases.
  • Mediation is a way to gain access to someone who professionally offers impartial, fair judgments.
  • Mediation exists in different forms, which allows you to fine tune it to your needs. There is legally binding mediation, more casual mediation, and mediation specific for business conflicts.

Mediation is an excellent tool that you can use to resolve the conflicts you face in your daily life. Whether it is a disagreement among friends or a serious contract conflict among business partners, medication can help you restore the peace. A business lawyer can discuss how mediation can help you in your business endeavors. 

How To Prepare For Business Mediation

Assisted negotiations can provide parties with the opportunity to find a resolution without going to court. There are guiding principles when entering mediation that each party and his or her legal representatives should be willing to follow. Ways that you can increase the likelihood of resolving your dispute through mediation are listed as follows:

  • Confirm that each party and their representative are present, informed, and have been authorized to help find a solution.
  • If meeting in person is not possible, then video or telephone conferencing should commence instead (but in person is ideal).
  • Enter meditation with the perspective that things may not go as you expect. Stay open minded and be willing to absorb new information and opportunities.
  • Listen to hear and not as a means to respond. Focus on the problem itself
  • Put yourself in the other party’s shoes and ask yourself how you would react in their situation.
  • Consider your approach and talk with your lawyer beforehand about all the “what ifs” that could happen. 
  • Think outside the box and be ready for solutions you may not have thought of or realized were possible. 
  • Be wary of your tone of voice and how you may be coming off. When stressed or under pressure, we may present ourselves in a way that hinders cooperation. 
  • Bring any and all relevant documentation to the mediation meeting as a way to streamline negotiations and not waste time in having to stop and gather specific paperwork or evidence.
  • Be willing to deal with the issues directly even though it may be uncomfortable or awkward. Your mediator can help things run more smoothly.

How To Prepare For Business Mediation Infographic

If mediation doesn’t prove successful, then the parties may want to go through arbitration instead. This is when an arbitrator will hear all sides of the situation and assess evidence, then conclude the resolution. The arbitrator will determine the outcome of the dispute, which may or may not be how you would have wanted. For this reason, mediation is always suggested first and then the need for arbitration may follow. 

Remember that showing you are willing to listen and be open can set the tone for mediation, and encourage the other party or parties to be cooperative as well. Of course, not everyone is going to be flexible, but being a receptive listener helps others return the same.

Why You Need to Hire a Business Lawyer

You work hard to ensure that your business remains healthy and profitable, but it is impossible to predict all of the potential legal issues you may encounter as you grow. Hiring a business lawyer who can advise you about various matters will ensure that you avoid unnecessary legal complications that could affect your business’s bottom line.

Help Selecting a Business Structure

The way you choose to structure your business can have long-range financial implications by affecting:

  • Your liability
  • Your tax obligations
  • Your deductible expenses
  • Your ability to attract investors
  • Your decision-making power

A business lawyer can advise you about the most advantageous structure to help you achieve your short and long-term goals. 

Drafting and Reviewing Contracts

Whether you are forming a partnership, hiring employees, or negotiating with a supplier, there will come a time when you will need to engage in formal agreements with other people and entities. It is always in your best interests to have a business lawyer draft and review all contracts to avoid oversights or misleading language, ensure agreement enforceability, and help you obtain the most advantageous terms.

Help Avoiding Lawsuits

Numerous circumstances can expose your business to liability, regardless of the structure you choose. Our team can help you avoid any aspects of your business’s structural hierarchy, physical design, and operations that could lead to claims against it. If your company becomes a lawsuit target, your business lawyer will know how to defend you. On the other hand, you may need a lawyer to represent your interests to achieve a fast resolution to claims you may initiate. 

Help with Conflict Resolution

Running a business involves managing various relationships involving partners, customers, vendors, investors, board members, or employees. Every relationship experiences ups and downs, and a business lawyer can help avoid conflict escalation and navigate the path to a potential solution to satisfy all concerned parties.

Professional Recommendations

It takes a support network of specialists to help you run your business, and your business lawyer is a vital part of your team. Our team has experience working with professionals in various industries, including accounting, real estate, insurance, and human resources, and can steer you to the appropriate service providers when the need arises. We can also connect you with potential investors, partners, clients, and other lawyers. 

Contact a reputable business lawyer to discuss ways to minimize your business’s potential liability, formulate a long-term growth strategy, or resolve an urgent conflict.

What To Look For in a Business Lawyer

Teaching and Guidance Capabilities

You may be searching for a business lawyer in Washington, DC, who will take care of everything you need with little input from you. However, it is better to find an attorney who will work closely with you and guide you through your legal processes. Legal matters are complicated, so find an attorney who is willing to teach you about the process and give you detailed explanations of legal terms and procedures. Your lawyer should even give you an overview of complex legal situations. The more you know about your legal environment, the better your decision-making process can be.

Experience

When you are searching for a business lawyer in Washington, DC, such as those at Brown Kiely Law LLP, you need a professional with experience. Your attorney should have specialized business law experience. However, this professional should also be experienced in the business transactions, contracts and processes you are involved in.

Your firm should have significant knowledge of the complex legal regulations you face in your industry as well. These professionals should be able to guide you through complex legal issues and help you build a legal strategy for your company that adheres to your industry’s laws. Their knowledge in your industry should also help them defend and represent you.

Therefore, ask your prospects about their experience in law, in business law, and in your industry. Find out if they have current clients in your industry.

Fee Structure

As you interview your business lawyer in Washington, DC, ask about fee structures. You need to know about your retainer, hourly and other fees you should expect. You can also discuss fees for specific services, such as a contract review or merger process. Find out whether your attorney requires up-front payment or if you can make payments over time.

Firm Size

When you are investigating firms, such as Brown Kiely Law LLP, you should consider the size of the firm you prefer. Often small firms offer a wide variety of legal services, but some boutique firms focus on one area of law, such as business law. These firms tend to be more informal and have strong team environments.

Larger firms tend to have more support staff and may have more internal and external resources they can use to help you. They may focus on one area of the law or provide services for a variety of areas. One benefit of a large firm is that you may have multiple people working on your case at once, and you can get advice from different legal professionals on the same issue.

Your Greatest Asset Is a Business Lawyer Clients Depend On

Having a solid financial advisor and business lawyer to help guide you is essential for securing the best interests of your business. They will be able to recommend companies for you to purchase before making any decisions and your financial advisor can assure that you have the capital and that the acquisition is worth the investment. 

Our legal team can also ensure your rights are protected as a buyer and can handle unexpected issues that may arise during the process. Business acquisition laws can be complicated which makes a skilled Washington, DC business lawyer from Brown Kiely, LLP invaluable, so don’t hesitate to call today!

What are the primary responsibilities of a business lawyer?

Business lawyers work in an area of law sometimes referred to as commercial litigation. Business law encompasses civil litigation involving one or more business entities as parties. Typically, the area of law being litigated is specialized due to the nature of the parties involved and the laws in the locality in which the dispute was alleged to have occurred. 

What business law practice areas does Brown Kiely, LLP specialize in?

  • Business Torts
  • Breach of contract
  • Partnership and shareholder disputes
  • Trade secrets & restrictive covenants

What are common types of business tort cases?

  • Fraudulent Misrepresentation
  • Interference with Contractors
  • Interference with a Potential Client
  • Unfair Competition

What are the components of a contract?

Contracts are legal documents that are established between parties that are intended to uphold obligations. 

Contracts can be legally enforced and include four basic components:

  • Mutual assent
  • Consideration
  • Capacity
  • Legality 

What is breach of contract?

A breach of contract is said to have occurred when one or more parties is unable to adhere to at least one component of the contract. In the event of a breach, general damages, reliance damages, consequential damages, and specific damages may be pursued in an attempt to make things right between involved parties.

What are common partnership and shareholder disputes that Brown Kiely, LLP has handled?

During any point of operation of a business, various disputes could potentially arise. Whether during the formation of the business, or the dissolution of the business our Washington DC business lawyers have handled a variety of matters pertaining to such disputes including:

  • Partnership or shareholder agreements
  • The issuance of shares
  • Capital contributions by shareholders or partners
  • Confidentiality agreements
  • Trade secret agreements
  • Breach of fiduciary duty
  • Employment agreements
  • Severance agreements
  • Dissolution agreements

What role does commercial litigation have in trade secrets & restrictive covenant disputes?

Services our Washington DC business lawyers offer that pertain to trade secrets and restrictive covenants include:

  • Identify proprietary information
  • Identify what information should be protected
  • Audit existing employee and termination policies
  • Review any compliance agreements
  • Audit and develop strategies to safeguard information deemed to be confidential
  • Draft confidentiality agreement
  • Draft educational materials about confidentiality
  • Evaluate current, or draft new, agreements related to non-competition, non-recruitment, and non-disclosure
  • Counsel staff on the correct hiring procedures and termination process

Our lawyers have served in house counsel, outside counsel, courts, mediators, government agencies, and others who are seeking either legal advocacy or neutral advisors.

When facing commercial business litigation, an important consideration to make is retaining legal representation that is experienced and licensed in the state where the dispute happened. If you are facing a business-related lawsuit in the DMV area, contact Brown Kiely, LLP for individualized assistance from an experienced Washington DC business lawyer.