Our purpose at Edward Connor Solicitors is to serve Jesus through serving his people. We’re here to help churches and Christian organisations to run well and comply with the law, and we understand the particular legal issues that Christian charities and churches face.
We do our best to serve our clients, but there are things you can do to work well with us, saving you time and money. Here are some tips for working well with your lawyer, for the good of your mission:
Have one point of contact – Agree internally who is going to be the point of contact with your lawyers. If your lawyer gets lots of different information from various people, it can cause confusion, duplication of work and can cost you money.
Don’t cut corners – Trying to cut costs can be counterproductive and end up costing more. Drafting a document yourself, for example, can mean that it may take the lawyer longer to amend it than if they had drafted it. Getting advice at the beginning of a project will usually be quicker and cheaper than trying to get lawyers involved part-way through.
Give the context – Provide the background and relevant documents for your query at the outset. Otherwise your lawyer won’t be able to identify the key issues for you (and it will take longer to disentangle later).
Explain the outcome you are looking for – Your lawyer may be able to think of better ways of getting to the same outcome than the one you have in mind.
Be clear about timescales – If you need something by a particular deadline, say so at the beginning. Don’t assume your lawyer will be able to turn the work round in the same week you ask them for it. If you don’t tell them that you’ve got a trustees’ meeting in a fortnight’s time, they won’t know!
Put it in writing – If there is information you need your lawyer to know, put it in writing rather than in a meeting or a phone call. It takes a lot less time to read an email or letter than it does to speak and take notes. Remember to collate your information or questions, if possible, into one communication rather than two. This will save you money.
Phone calls – If you do need to phone, make sure you have all the relevant notes or documents to hand. Make notes before you speak to your lawyer and keep the conversation focussed and efficient.
Changing your mind – If your lawyer asks for a decision from you on something, get clear internal agreement before responding. If you end up changing your mind, this can get expensive as you will be charged for all the work done.
Communicate clearly – When you’ve received some advice, briefly acknowledge receipt and say what you will do next. If there will be a delay before you can respond fully, let your lawyer know. If you don’t reply for a long while, the lawyer may end up spending more time finding out what is going on. This can cost you money.
Most importantly, pray for us as we partner with you. We love to pray for the work we’re doing, and it’s great to know our clients are doing the same.
This information has been provided by solicitors working for Edward Connor Solicitors. It is designed for the purpose of knowledge sharing only and does not constitute legal advice.