Small businesses are increasingly being drawn to the allure of DIY legal templates as the temptation of cheaper legal solutions for those operating on a tighter budget proves difficult to resist.
But are they worth it?
The short answer – probably not.
Take a look below to find out why lawyers are still a small business owners’ safest bet for drawing up legal templates.
Lawyers Should Be Your First Point of Call
Australia has begun to see an increasing number of small businesses opting going it alone in favour of online legal templates instead of contacting a professional lawyer. The more affordable templates may look appealing for those working to tighter budgets, but small businesses should really think twice about choosing this route.
In regards to Shareholder Agreements, let’s take a look at why DIY legal is not a good idea. In many cases using a template shareholder agreement can come back to bite because:
1. Shareholder and company officer statutory obligations are usually clarified, but often such templates don’t pro-actively manage risks specific to the business.
2. Most do not clearly and adequately define the rights & responsibilities of each person in relation to their specific business.
“Lawyers… develop a strong skill set that includes the ability to draft contracts that both properly reflect the commercial scenario and reduce risk for our clients… I’m not denying that in some instances templates have their place, but perhaps only in relation to basic generic documents such as website user agreements, which require little if any tailoring,” stated Mira Stammers, banking solicitor & CEO of Legally Yours.
Lawyers are Indispensable…
Practical Legal Training Lecturer from the College of Law, Fabian Horton says lawyers will remain irreplaceable when it comes to applying legal solutions to legal problems into the near future at least.
“Where technology is still a long way off is in the efficient application of legal knowledge directly to legal problems. To my mind this means that the lawyer is now seen (and operates) more as a risk manager – someone who knows the intricacies of the information and the processes, and from that level guides the client through the legal knowledge maze to an appropriate set of solutions,” he said.
How is Technology & Digitisation Transforming Law?
The world is in a state of flux, technology and the web are virtually and literally inter-connecting world markets, changing consumer behaviour & transforming the way we do business. All market sectors are undergoing change in an effort to keep pace with this global, technological evolution and the legal field is no different.
We have seen many law firms taking advantage of what technology and digitisation can offer, with many gradually shifting towards:
- Paperless document handling
- Building a social media presence to grow their client base
- Introducing more transparent billing processes
- Implementing new client relations tools including
- More transparent client management strategies