In his book, ‘Confessions of an Entrepreneur’, Chris Robson lays out some simple-to-follow advice when engaging with lawyers who in any real business, will become an integral and important part of a business. As a basic rule of thumb he suggests that you can gauge the quality of a legal firm/accountant based on how much they will give you for free.
An old school friend that has now become an incredibly successful lawyer works in the venture capital finance arena. On the off chance he may have a few pointers, I sent Tom Ward an email setting out the idea and asking him what legal pointers we need to look for. Expecting a few sentences in return, imagine my surprise when I found an email that took me ten minutes to read in my inbox. Tom had set out in fantastic detail exactly how we’d need to go about setting up trust structures and other legal issues in plain English that made a lot of sense.
Heaven only knows how much Tom’s time would have cost on his normal clock but the information he has given us has quite literally affected and steered the business plan in a different route.
I am genuinely hopeful that when we get to either the stage where we need a contract put together for external seed or Series A investment or better yet, a floatation package – that we will use Tom’s firm, SSD LLP. He has been an integral part of getting us to where we are and is genuinely interested in the company we are trying to build.
Network is everything – helping people out when you can and being as amicable and friendly as possible to anyone and everyone you meet has stood me in good stead to date and I am looking forward to growing more relationships with more great people!