5 Reasons to Have Proactive Legal Advice

By Samuel Okoronkwo

Legal disputes are expensive. In this article, we look at 5 reasons why you should engage with legal advice proactively rather than waiting for an issue.


Prevention is Better than Cure

It is a classic saying that holds true in the legal world. Proactive legal advice can help you foresee potential legal issues and take steps to avoid them. This approach is not just about being cautious; it is about being smart and strategic. By seeking legal advice early, you are essentially investing in peace of mind, knowing that you are less likely to face unexpected legal challenges down the line. You may not like it, but every growing business will have some form of legal issue. It is part and parcel of doing business. Thinking about how to protect yourself from legal issues, in the long run, is more cost-effective than jousting in the courts.


In construction, where disputes are common, having proactive advice can help avoid issues before they arise. It is much more cost-effective to prevent issues than cure them. Typically a business with £5m of revenue will spend on average around £50k per year in proactive legal work, however, a company without proactive legal work should spend double, if not triple that figure.



Let’s talk about money because, ultimately, it is a crucial factor for most people. Reactive legal advice – sought after a problem has arisen – often leads to higher costs. Legal battles can be expensive, and the longer they drag on, the more they will cost you. Even if you are in the right, a legal dispute can be long and drawn out impacting cash flow and delaying payments by months and years in some cases. By seeking proactive advice, you are more likely to nip potential issues in the bud, saving you a significant amount of money in the long run.


It is easy to be put to the bottom of the pile of creditors, especially if insolvency plans are being discussed. In cases where you are owed money, it is important to not only be proactive but firm. Having legal support early can make the difference between becoming a line item on an unsecured creditors list and being a priority payment.



It is often the case that suppliers and partners may face difficulties which they may try to offload onto your business. Whilst this is ethically questionable behaviour, you can become embroiled in processes and disputes in which you have no involvement. This can be a deliberate act of another party in some cases. Over the years, there have been cases where parties deliberately abuse the inequality between parties or the court process to force negotiation. Having legal counsel involved in your business proactively means that you have some deterrence from this kind of behaviour. If a party were to try to abuse their influence or the court process, they often think differently about this, if a legal professional is involved.


Whilst it is unpleasant to think this way, it is often the case that power and influence are used to push suppliers and contractors to forcibility agree to varied terms or decide to impose terms without agreement. This is often deterred when a legal representative handles these matters.


Building Strong Relationships

For many businesses, legal advice only comes at a point of crisis. This means your legal advisors often have a limited view of your business. Having a retained counsel, even just for a limited scope can mean your lawyers have a bigger picture of your business. They will understand your business better and be able to proactively spot ways to protect your business and of course, do business more efficiently.


For example, your contracts may require varying to fit the variety of works you do, often contracts are not updated to reflect changes in legislation, a close relationship can mean those contracts are reviewed regularly and updated to reflect the current market.


Peace of Mind and Confidence

Legal issues are some of the most emotionally charged issues we will face in business. Not only because of the risk but because the legal process is drawn out. This means months can pass without seemingly any resolution. Many business owners have faced sleepless nights over a dispute or late payment which has the potential to harm their business.


Having legal advisors working with you proactively is about peace of mind. Knowing you have experts working to protect your interests is one of the best ways to have confidence that your business is safe from legal threats.

Value Adding Approach

Our approach to legal practice is always to articulate creative and value-adding solutions for clients whilst delivering timely, efficient and affordable professional services. All clients conduct their affairs within a legal context and Mercantile Barristers’ role is to advise on the conduct of their transactions and affairs in ways that avoid conflict and disputes.


However, should a dispute become inevitable, then our prior engagement would have assured that all the necessary precautions have been taken and mitigating steps adopted. Thus, clients will begin any dispute resolution in a strong position to achieve their desired objectives.


Whether by adjudication, arbitration, litigation, members at Mercantile Barristers will adopt a firm, swift and decisive approach to achieve the best possible results for clients within the shortest possible time. We recognise that no two cases are the same, so we will adapt our style to suit the occasion.


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