A Lit­i­ga­tion Con­sul­tant Will Nav­i­gate the Risks

A trusted le­gal busi­ness ad­vi­sor when you need one

BC Business Magazine - - Mcquarrie Hunter Llp -

Doug Conolly rec­og­nizes that cor­po­ra­tions gen­er­ally only con­sult lawyers af­ter some­thing has gone wrong or where con­flict is im­mi­nent.

Conolly, part­ner and head of the Com­mer­cial Lit­i­ga­tion Group for Mc­quar­rie, says a proac­tive ap­proach, sim­i­lar to reg­u­lar main­te­nance of your car or your per­sonal health, can also be ap­plied to busi­ness and the com­mer­cial lit­i­ga­tion field.

“Lawyers who act as lit­i­ga­tion con­sul­tants are re­garded as sound­ing boards and knowl­edge­able, trusted ad­vis­ers who can iden­tify and mit­i­gate le­gal risks. This is im­por­tant be­cause ev­ery step you take in busi­ness can have le­gal con­se­quences,” Conolly says.

“Our clients rou­tinely en­gage us early in the process of a ne­go­ti­a­tion or ini­tia­tive for anal­y­sis and le­gal opin­ion on var­i­ous sce­nar­ios, early enough to make a dif­fer­ence,” he says.

One area where en­gag­ing a lit­i­ga­tion con­sul­tant works well is ad­vis­ing in re­gards to con­trac­tual re­la­tion­ships. As a busi­ness grows and be­comes more so­phis­ti­cated, the im­pact of com­pet­ing in­ter­ests and obli­ga­tions re­quires more care­ful anal­y­sis and strat­egy.

Com­pa­nies of­ten turn to the use of stan­dard form con­tracts which ap­pear to be all-en­com­pass­ing and are an­tic­i­pated to work in mul­ti­ple sit­u­a­tions; un­for­tu­nately, th­ese may sim­ply cre­ate un­nec­es­sary obli­ga­tions and risk where none was in­tended. Conolly ex­plains that a lit­i­ga­tion con­sul­tant who knows your busi­ness and is avail­able to re­view and in­ter­pret con­tracts, can play a crit­i­cal role in any risk man­age­ment strat­egy — ul­ti­mately sav­ing a com­pany sig­nif­i­cant time, ex­pense and re­sources.

Iden­ti­fy­ing chal­leng­ing is­sues only af­ter a con­tract has been signed can be a very messy and emo­tional sit­u­a­tion that could have been avoided.

Mc­quar­rie han­dles a broad range of com­mer­cial dis­putes, but Conolly points out that the pri­mary goal should al­ways be to pre­vent is­sues from be­com­ing liti­gious.

“Com­pa­nies that en­gage and re­tain us are able to con­duct busi­ness with a higher level of le­gal com­fort and con­fi­dence.” An in­creas­ing num­ber of busi­ness own­ers ap­pre­ci­ate the sig­nif­i­cant benefits of hav­ing a lit­i­ga­tion con­sul­tant on­board as part of their team, to as­sist in the ef­fi­cient nav­i­ga­tion of com­plex le­gal frame­works within which their busi­nesses op­er­ate.

“We fa­mil­iar­ize our­selves with the in­tri­ca­cies of our client’s busi­ness and in­dus­try so that we can bet­ter fore­cast and mit­i­gate risk.”

Mc­quar­rie has been as­sist­ing clients with all types of busi­ness cases for decades, and its com­mer­cial lit­i­ga­tion lawyers have the di­verse experience and re­sources to deal with any busi­ness lit­i­ga­tion mat­ter. ■

Mc­quar­rie Hunter LLP is a multi-prac­tice, Sur­rey-based law firm that serves the needs of busi­nesses, in­di­vid­u­als and in­sti­tu­tions in the Lower Main­land and through­out B.C.

Mc­quar­rie Hunter LLP 15th Floor, Cen­tral Ci­ty­tower, Suite 1500 13450 102nd Av­enue, Sur­rey, BC V3T 5X3 604.581.7001 mc­quar­rie.com

Doug Conolly

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