Frequently Asked Questions
Are you lawyers?
We are not solicitors, and therefore not regulated by the Solicitors’ Regulation Authority (SRA). However, we do advise in legal matters as they relate to commercial contracts and so may be considered to be ‘lawyers’. We have access to the same high quality legal resources used by many firms of solicitors and because we specialise in commercial contracts, and commercial contract law, our expertise in this area is at least as good as many solicitors.
Can you draft legally binding contracts for us?
Yes. All of the services we provide, including contract drafting, negotiation, company sale and purchase and training, fall outside the ‘reserved activities’ that are exclusive to barristers and lawyers.
We are contractually competent with many years of full-time experience in drafting and negotiating commercial contracts across different industries, sizes of companies and countries. And you don’t need to get our work ‘checked out’ or ‘approved’ by a solicitor before you use it!
If we have any doubt about our expertise in a particular specialist area, we will seek specialist legal input to ensure we’re delivering you the right advice. And if you’d like to talk to one of our clients to be reassured that we know our stuff, we’d be pleased to introduce you.
What sort of contracts can you help us with?
We can create a contract to reflect whatever sort of commercial relationship you’re entering into. Click here for more information.
Why should I choose you instead of a firm of solicitors?
Because legal firms may know how to draft a tight contract, but solicitors don’t necessarily understand what drives business success or how to deliver practical business-focused advice. The strict regulatory environment in which law firms operate encourages dogmatism and a focus on risk elimination.
This results in lengthy, unwieldy agreements, drawn-out confrontational negotiation, and missed opportunities for business growth. You don’t need to pay huge legal fees only to receive unusable advice from solicitors who’ve never been at the ‘sharp end’ in business! We can help you find the right commercial solution for your business issues.
Can you support us with international deals?
Yes, we have done many international deals. We source and work with local legal counsel to ensure that your agreement will work properly, where-ever you are doing business. We can also advise you on choice of law and jurisdiction to meet your needs in your cross-border contract.
Why should I choose you over a negotiator?
Because negotiators may not be familiar with the ins and outs of contract law. After a negotiator has structured a contract, you may have to go back to the drawing board once you’ve sought legal advice. With Devant, you enjoy the whole package, so you can reach a signed deal faster and more efficiently.
Why should I choose you instead of employing my own commercial manager or contracts manager?
Because they are an expensive resource that you might not need all the time. Even when you do need them, they may be off sick or on holiday! With Devant, you can call on our commercial support any time and there are no overheads for you to pay. You won’t need to worry about providing an employee with training, infrastructure and legal resources either. As contracts specialists, we already have all those things in place.
Why should I choose you instead of an independent commercial consultant or contract consultant?
Because, although one-man-band commercial managers may be cheaper, they offer a more limited service and don’t have access to the same level of resources, infrastructure and skills as we do. Any one individual is unlikely to have expertise in all the areas your business needs, and may not be able to invest in training to keep themselves up-to-date with the latest legal developments. At Devant, each of our consultants has broad general experience and their own area of in-depth specialist knowledge. This means there’s always someone we can call on to answer any difficult questions. Also, if you depend on an independent consultant you lose your commercial support when they are sick, busy or on holiday. Our team approach and client-management infrastructure means you are always covered.
Why shouldn’t we just handle our contracts ourselves?
Because your MD, FD and salespeople are unlikely to have specialist experience of drafting and negotiating successful contracts. Of course, when you equip your team with Devant training and resources, you can reduce your need for specialists like us on a regular basis and just call on us for the tough ones.
What’s your charging structure?
You’re entitled to a FREE initial consultation of up to one hour, with no obligation to proceed. This is a one-off arrangement where we’ll discuss your business, how we might be able to help and perhaps give you some preliminary feedback.
After that, consultancy and negotiation support are generally charged on an hourly rate and you can choose between our different fee levels, depending on the level of support you need. We’ll quote a fixed fee in advance for major consulting and commercial audit projects, contract drafting and training.
If you need contract automation, there is a fixed price for automating your agreements, and then a monthly licence fee for access to our contract automation service.
If you need regular ad-hoc support, please ask about our retainer service.