3 Questions Featured

8:00pm EDT October 26, 2009

Marc L. Faust is the chair of the Real Estate Practice Group of Katz Barron Squitero Faust and is a founding member of the firm. Faust specializes in shopping centers, senior housing developments, leasing and management. He represents national and local owners, developers, retailers and tenants.

Q. How can seeking and following legal advice save a company money?

Lawyers come into play when people’s relationships need to be documented or are not going smoothly. The best time to deal with an attorney is early on when you’re establishing these relationships. It’s about prevention. People pay insurance premiums or get tests at the doctor’s office even when they are well to learn ahead of time and spend a little money upfront so that when there are issues down the road it won’t cost as much. Companies spend a little money to consult a lawyer in advance so that the lawyer can help them understand their risks, responsibilities and also how the fruits of that relationship will be shared.

Q. Once a relationship is established, when should a company seek counsel?

As they are continuing with their relationships, talking to an attorney helps them identify and determine how to deal with issues and how to resolve them quickly. People don’t want to see attorneys often until problems are more serious. By being involved early, possible remedies can be outlined and warnings can be given.

Q. Can a company negotiate a flat fee for some services?

For certain canned types of legal products, it’s easy to do something for a flat fee. But for matters that involve extensive negotiations, such as transactions that have lots of moving parts, it’s hard to predict how much time will be involved. Attorneys who haven’t worked with that client in the past may have a hard time quoting a fee. That’s why it’s good to develop a relationship over time. The client and attorney need to develop trust and confidence in each other, so the business owner feels comfortable that the attorney has his best interest at heart.