So you’re looking to sell your business, but you aren’t really sure whether you need a lawyer, a solicitor, a barrister and if so, do you need a commercial or corporate one, an M&A one, or some other jargon title!

You’re at the right place. Let us try to explain.

Solicitor vs Barrister?

Firstly, a lawyer is generic name for someone who does law for a living. In the UK, there are two main branches of the profession – solicitors and barristers. If you’re interested as to which is better a solicitor or barrister check out this blog. better a solicitor or barrister check out this blog. 

Barristers do not tend to be involved in day-to-day contact with clients like you; they are really court specialists, advocates.

So we’ve narrowed it down – if you are looking at a business sale (or purchase) you need a lawyer and most likely a solicitor.

That said, solicitors are regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority. The legal work required to buy or sell a business is what is known as unregulated legal work – meaning anyone can practise in that area of law, they do not need to be a solicitor.

However, with an SRA Regulated solicitor (like all of those listed on Your Business Lawyer) you get a number of really key benefits:

  1. They are regulated! Meaning they have a very detailed code of conduct to ascribe to and obey, ensuring a quality of standards.
  2. They have an independent and external complaints body should things go wrong. Unregulated firms simply deal with complaints internally.
  3. They have mandatory professional indemnity insurance requirements, again should things go wrong.

Corporate, Commercial, Business, M&A ?

Like many professionals, lawyers have got in to a rut with jargon and titles.

For a business sale or purchase, you are typically looking to find a M&A lawyer (mergers and acquisitions) or a corporate lawyer. M&A tends to be used by lawyers and law firms dealing with huge transactions, multi million pound deals, perhaps cross-border or international biased. They like the title.

Corporate Law tends to be used by most law firms in the UK, as meaning a lawyer that deals with business sales and purchases (although with other corporate / company law matters, from setting up a company, restructuring it, any thing to do with private company shares and the like).

At Your Business Lawyer, we’ve used the word corporate lawyers, but to be honest, a straight forward business sale/purchase lawyer suits us fine.