Frequently Asked Questions
- Why do I need a business attorney?
- Why can’t I just use a web service like LegalZoom?
- Assuming I need a good business attorney, why should I retain Walker Corporate Law Group?
- Why are the legal fees at Walker Corporate Law Group so much lower than the big firms?
- What kind of corporate legal services do you provide?
- Do you provide any other kinds of legal services?
- How much will my project cost?
- Where are your offices located?
- How do I get started?
You need a business attorney to protect you and watch your back in connection with your business dealings. A well-drafted agreement (or set of documents) is like a good insurance policy in the event of a dispute or litigation. Indeed, we live in a litigious society, and it is prudent to retain a good business attorney to make sure you don’t get blind-sided. A good business attorney will also identify significant risks, help negotiate business terms and make introductions.
You can. But as the saying goes: “you get what you pay for.” If your venture (or particular agreement/transaction) is significant, it makes sense to hire a good lawyer — for the same reason it makes sense to see a good doctor if you’re sick. Moreover, web services like LegalZoom are not law firms and do not render legal advice. Indeed, if you scroll down on the LegalZoom home page, you will find the following disclaimer: “LegalZoom’s Legal Document Service is not a law firm and is not a substitute for an attorney or law firm. LegalZoom cannot provide legal advice and can only provide self-help services at your specific direction.” The bottom line is that sites like LegalZoom may be fine for a dry cleaners or the corner grocery store; however, if you anticipate raising capital and/or you need to address a significant contract (or complex legal issues), you need to get a good lawyer involved early on. (We discuss this issue in detail in (i) mistake #2 of our blog post “Five Mistakes Entrepreneurs Make in Dealmaking” and (ii) tip #10 of our blog post “Launching a Venture: Ten Tips for Entrepreneurs.”)
There are obviously lots of law firms and lawyers out there, but very few that specialize in the representation of entrepreneurs. As we discuss on the “About the Firm” page, Walker Corporate Law Group (“Walker”) is a different kind of law firm; we are singularly focused on providing a broad range of corporate legal services to entrepreneurs and their companies – and that’s it. At Walker, you get the best of both worlds: you get former big-firm corporate lawyers handling your project at rates that make business sense. Indeed, we have a strong, hard-working team of talented attorneys, each of whom has at least 10 years of sophisticated corporate and securities law experience and has graduated from a top law school and university (some even have degrees beyond law school).
As Mr. Walker discusses in the introductory video on the home page, the traditional law firm business model is broken, which has caused legal fees to sky-rocket over the past few years. For example, there are lawyers at certain major national law firms billing out at $1,000 per hour; and even at the smaller, so-called “regional” firms, there are lawyers billing out at $600+ per hour (not to mention first-year associates at some firms billing out at $300 per hour). The principal reason for this is one word: overhead. The traditional law firms are simply passing onto their clients their huge overhead costs — things like expensive office space (often with artwork and dramatic views), large support staffs (such as assistants, librarians, secretaries and receptionists) and, of course, extremely high-paid young associates. Walker has created a new business model for the legal profession. We have stripped-out the huge overhead costs of the traditional law firm – i.e., we’ve gotten rid of the expensive office space, the large support staff and the inefficiency of having lots of young, high-priced associates doing the bulk of the work — and are passing the substantial savings onto our clients.
All kinds – from startup counseling (e.g., helping you choose and form the most appropriate entity for your venture) to angel and venture capital financings to mergers & acquisitions to restructurings. You can find a complete list of our services on the law services page.
No, we only provide corporate legal services (which we think is the key to our success); however, we work very closely with an all-star team of unaffiliated lawyers to provide whatever additional legal services are necessary. For example, if we need to structure an acquisition, we can recommend a strong tax lawyer, who will work seamlessly with our team; or perhaps there is a tricky environmental issue – in which case, we will bring-on special environmental counsel. The appeal of this approach is that we can cherry-pick the top legal specialists and utilize them on an as-needed basis, which is efficient and cost-effective.
It depends. We generally bill by the hour and, as noted above, our billing rates are much lower than the big firms. We will give you an estimate up-front and will do our best to meet such estimate. There are, however, obviously a number of variables beyond our control, including the cooperation and sophistication of the lawyers on the other side of the table and any unforeseen issues that may arise. For certain matters, we may be able to agree on a fixed fee (project fee), which means no matter how long it takes us to complete the project, you only pay one fee. Regardless of the arrangement, our goal is to make sure you are happy and are not paying an excessive amount for legal services.
As you can see on our law firm locations page, we have offices in Los Angeles (Beverly Hills), San Francisco, New York and Washington, D.C. Other than Mr. Walker, however, none of our attorneys actually has a physical office at any such locations — which, as noted above, creates substantial savings on overhead that we pass onto our clients. In short, we are a virtual, web-based law firm; our attorneys are always available via email/cell (as noted on the about the firm page).
The first step is to send us an e-mail or call us to set-up a free initial telephonic consultation. We can start representing you or your company as soon as (i) we establish that there are no potential conflicts of interest (e.g., that we do not represent a party on the other side of your transaction); and (ii) you execute our standard engagement letter and pay the requisite retainer deposit (either via check, credit card or PayPal). We indeed look forward to working with you.