Find out how to secure and strengthen your critical business relationships - and add value and resilience to your business while doing so
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How an experienced part‑time Legal Director can help you to identify and secure your critical business relationships
Every business has critical relationships with its key suppliers, customers, and partners, which have often built up over years. But in the absence of a proper contractual relationship, those trading relationships are highly dependent on goodwill, continuity of ownership, and the underlying personal—not contractual—relationships that exist between individuals.
But suppose a key supplier was acquired by a competitor, and subsequently stopped supplying your business? Suppose that a senior sales executive left, taking major customers with them? Or suppose that there was a breakdown in the personal relationship with the owner or senior director of a supplier, partner, or customer?
In each case, your business could be at risk. Could it withstand such shocks—and at what cost to sales revenues, and profits?
One of our part‑time Legal Directors can help you secure these business relationships—before a lack of contractual protection hurts your business where it can ill afford it.
Below we summarise some of the ways in which we help you to identify and strengthen your critical business relationships.
The hidden fragility of critical business relationships
Good business relationships depend on more than good personal relationships between business principals. Good business relationships understand that key individuals can—and do—move on, and that personal relationships can—and will—come under strain at times.
So in the case of critical business relationships—those where a failure of the relationship would expose the business to material risk—it’s important that contractual underpinnings be in place.
Contractual underpinnings that provide certainty instead of ambiguity, and stability instead of volatility.
Doing so doesn’t just provide added resilience. It also helps secure the value that has built up in your business—so that should it be sold, a due diligence process does not highlight material weakness in its critical relationships with partners, customers, and suppliers.
How will The Legal Director work with you to secure and strengthen your critical business relationships?
We work with your commercial teams to identify which of your business relationships really are critical—because they’re not necessarily the ones with the largest sales value, or largest procurement spend.
We review any existing contracts, making sure that they are properly set up and documented, and that they don’t contain loopholes or potential ‘bear traps’.
We’ll examine if they could be terminated by the other party in the event of a change of control, and highlight protective measures—fixed term periods, for instance, or a rolling renewal.
And where such contracts don’t exist, we’ll draft them, building sensitively on the strength of the existing relationship, but adding resilience in the face of unforeseen events.
How does The Legal Director's advice and approach differ from that of a traditional firm of solicitors/law firm?
The advice you receive from us, certainly in legal terms, we would expect to be much the same as that from a traditional law firm. However, two things in particular make The Legal Director stand apart.
Firstly, we give legal advice from a business perspective. All of our lawyers are highly experienced in business, and in the area of business relationships, and all of us have worked in industry. None of our part-time Legal Directors are the equivalent of the junior lawyer that a legal firm might assign to your case.
Secondly, The Legal Director is proactive rather than reactive. Our approach to business relationships is to proactively put in place appropriate contractual terms that protect your business before problems arise.
The three key areas where one of our part‑time Legal Directors can help you to secure and strengthen your critical business relationships
- We help you to identify your critical business relationships. These aren’t always the business relationships that might be imagined to be critical.
- We review any existing contracts, making sure that they are properly set up and documented, and that they don’t contain loopholes or potential ‘bear traps’.
- Where such contracts don’t exist, we’ll draft them, building sensitively on the strength of the existing relationship, but adding resilience in the face of unforseen events.
Then call 020 3053 8613 for further information and advice.