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:
- They are regulated! Meaning they have a very detailed code of conduct to ascribe to and obey, ensuring a quality of standards.
- They have an independent and external complaints body should things go wrong. Unregulated firms simply deal with complaints internally.
- 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.