What are Pre-Paid Legal Hours?
This year, Forbes reported a rise in legal pre-paid hours in the U.S., and the trend is slowly catching up in Europe too. Here in Malta, we offer our ‘legal toolkit’ to customers who want to pre-pay for our legal and corporate services to set up a new company or to upkeep their existing one. But what exactly are pre-paid legal hours, and why would your business need them?
Prepaid legal hours are a sort of legal subscription programme. In most instances, you pay for a one-time bundle or annually, and in return, you’re entitled to some basic legal services during your subscription period. Whilst this depends on your needs, your coverage is in terms of hours and it is thus far-reaching – usually to the Corporate Service Provider’s (CSP) whole range of services.
All businesses nowadays, large and small, have legal and financial requirements which demand much attention and resources. Sometimes, it is better to keep your team occupied with business growth and customer satisfaction, rather than deploying resources to attend to these matters? These legal exigencies range from drafting contracts with suppliers and contracts of employment (COEs), distribution and service agreements, lease agreements, review of legal documents and the list goes on – not to mention the barrage of regulations and laws to follow.
Legal counsel could be expensive in the long run, unless you envision the future hurdles your business will face. A good remedy to this is to opt for a trusted business partner.
6 top reasons to opt for pre-paid legal hours
1. Better Rates
All business owners, big and small, know that challenges come from all sides. Whilst some may be benign, resolved with an email or by delegation – others can stick for a while. Instances such as these require more attention, such as contract reviews, COEs and other legal documents – or GDPR-related actions to take, such compliance requirements.
Whilst it is important to have in-house teams to deal with such matters, business owners know how much precious time and resources can be ‘wasted’, especially in times of crisis. How much pressure and attention can admin and managers take on in order to handle such situations – rather than focusing on business growth? Furthermore, how vast is your legal team’s knowledge of the law – does it cover Corporate Law, Employment Law, the GDPR, etc?
With pre-paid legal hours, you not only simplify common legal issues and reduce the strain on your team, but you also shield yourself in the eventuality of a business crisis – at a better rate.
2. Custom-Tailored Service
Companies that want to deal with a specific contact point or team will definitely want to consider pre-paid legal hours in their risk management plan. First-off, every business has their individual needs – but more importantly: every business has a particular way of operating. Finding the right legal business partner is hard, but once you do, legal pre-paid hours make sense.
This week you may need to draft an agreement; in three weeks’ time you may need legal advice on Data Protection, and at the end of the year you could be bidding in haste as soon as public authorities release a public procurement tender.
In today’s world any enterprise is versatile. Even if you have just one product or service to offer, there are many legal and contractual elements to worry about. With EU regulations to adhere to, and local or international laws to conform with, pre-paid legal hours may just be the right choice for you. Why? Your dedicated CSP can cover a large portion (or all) of these varying legal and corporate needs, on short notice. Furthermore, you find a team that already knows your portfolio inside out and does not need much back and forth communication in order to execute tasks.elf shows us the interplay between the notion of prior use and registered trademarks. For a name/mark/distinctive device to be protected by law, it must first be “lawfully used by others”. If such is the case, then they do not need to be trademarked to benefit from this protection.
4. It’s Not a Retainer – Fixed Hourly Fees!
Unless your legal needs are broad enough to dictate a retainer, the advantage of pre-paid legal hours is that you’ll be paying standard hourly rates for your present and future needs. It’s simple – you buy a bundle of hours at a fixed rate for services you know you’ll eventually need.
5. Be Prepared – Never Miss a Deadline!
Setting your own deadlines is one thing, but having deadlines from regulators and authorities is definitely another. Not only are you subject to penalty fees and being blocked from certain markets, but you also have your reputation on the line. Simply put, pre-paid legal hours with a trusted CSP means having an organised team with everything on hand, on demand, ready to meet those deadlines.
6. BONUS: Find a Legal Partner With an International Network
When evaluating the best providers with experience and a proven track record, there is another critical factor to consider if your business is spread over multiple jurisdictions: international presence. In this way, you can benefit from a wide-ranging team, servicing your corporate and legal needs within multiple jurisdictions simultaneously.
At MK Malta you can rest assured of this, since we have a number of offices around the globe, whilst also being part of international legal networks to provide further niche services in several practice areas.
Make the First Step!
The MK Malta Legal Toolkit
Affordable and effective legal prepared hours are becoming a must for businesses. At MK Malta Law Firm we have come up with a solution for a legal toolkit which comprises what is needed to set up a new company or to provide legal and corporate assistance to an existing one. Once you start the process, we can help you remain protected and prepared – whilst you can focus on your business!
For more information about the legal toolkit, contact us: email@example.com
The content of this article is valid as at the date of its first publication. It is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter and does not constitute legal advice. We recommend that you seek professional advice on your specific matter before acting on any information provided. For further information or advice, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org or telephone +356 2016 1010.