Good advice takes time. And time is valuable.Girl Friday Guide
July 4, 2021
Legal Bills. Two of the most hated words in the English language.
(Or any language really.)
These two words often provoke some colourful questions and comments:
What the feck is this bill for? Why the frak are you charging me for? Oh H to the no way am I paying for this. This bill is muther trucking ridiculous. We get it. No one likes bills.
But here’s the tea: Like all good things, good advice takes time. And time is valuable.
When you work with an IP attorney, here are a few value adds you might not see itemised on a bill.
IP attorneys deal in the business of creativity. And this means there’s no one size fits all when it comes to IP wants, needs, problems and solutions. From sole traders to companies, start-ups to established enterprises, consumer products to professional services — no two businesses are alike.
The circumstances and issues are unique to each business. And our IP services and advice are highly bespoke to meet the needs of each client.
We take care and time to understand your business, the particular problems you’re facing and the outcomes you’re hoping for. The value of our tailored service and advice is to help you make legally informed and commercially minded decisions.
Back of house
It’s the art of the trade, how the sausage gets made. As a client, what you receive at the front of house is polished advice, a solid strategy or a practical solution. But behind the scenes, you’ll find us:
- Strategising Game of Thrones style to provide the right advice and solutions;
- Managing and meeting various deadlines;
- Answering additional quick* questions;
- Accommodating changes to the scope of work;
- Shouldering risks and stresses;
- Managing expectations and emotions (we get anything legalese related can be stressful).
We’re working hard at the back of house to deliver a seamless and stress free experience for you.
*Quick questions are often anything but. Questions are always welcome, but the assumption they’ll be quick and easy to answer is not.
School’s never out
Knowledge is key but it needs to be on-point. So we’re constantly hitting the books. After years of study, various technical and legal qualifications, the learning doesn’t stop there. As registered and practicing IP attorneys, we're required to invest in hours of continued professional education (CPE) every year.
To maintain our knowledge of current IP laws and emerging technologies and trends, we take on a range of extra-curricular activities including:
- Attending events, webinars, lectures, conferences;
- Delivering workshops and seminars;
- Formal training programs and courses;
- Participating in committees and professional bodies.
This continuous commitment, and investment, to our professional education and development helps us better our knowledge and skills — and better our service to clients.
Tools of the trade
We use our skills to pay the bills. And like any other business, we’ve got bills too. Working by candlelight might sound romantic but it’s really not productive. So we work to keep the lights on and the Wi-Fi connected. But aside from the usual bits and bobs every business needs to operate, there are a few extra niche tools in the IP trade.
The IP profession is strictly regulated by a professional body and standards. This means additional costs for attorneys including maintaining professional indemnity insurance, and registrations and renewals of practicing certificates.
We also invest in various resources such as databases and online tools, to enable us to manage client matters and deadlines, access IP and legal info, records and documents — all of which help us provide effective and efficient service.
Mind the costs
Contrary to popular misconception, you'll find attorneys are open and upfront about costs. This helps you understand what's involved, and what you'll be investing in when you work with us. It's the start of a collaborative attorney-client relationship.
Costs aren't so much hidden as they are often overlooked. To avoid the awkward "we refer you back to our quote" chat, please take the time to read and consider any scope of work, and quotes or cost estimates. If you’re ever in doubt about any costs, please ask. And then ask again.
Our two cents
When you're ready to work with an IP attorney, be prepared to invest in more than just their time. There’s always so much more to a bill than meets the eye. The dollar value isn't a straight up reflection of the time we spend on a matter. It includes our specialist expertise, our years of experience, our care in providing tailored advice and service, and ultimately our efforts in fighting the good fight for you and your IP.
Image credit: Yaroslav Danylchenko