Friday, December 21, 2007

"Would You Like to Supersize Your Contract?"

"You must have a form for that?" Business attorneys often hear that question from prospective clients when discussing a document they would like to have prepared. It may be an agreement relative to formation of an entity, a commercial contract, or an agreement for the purchase and sale of a business. Too often parties believe the lawyer has a "boilerplate" agreement into which the lawyer simply needs to fill-in the names of the parties and the dates.

Part of the value of hiring a seasoned business attorney is, indeed, to benefit from the prior experiences and work performed by the attorney in similar matters. Additionally, there is the benefit of efficiency and economy with an attorney who does not have to "re-invent the wheel" when working on a business agreement. Each commercial relationship, however, has its own dynamic and unique concerns which should be properly and specifically addressed in the governing contract. The provisions of the contract to address such issues cannot be "cut and pasted" from one agreement to another.

Your business attorney should take the time to ask you about the parties involved, the specific goals of the business relationship or transaction, standards and guidelines for performance by each party, timing concerns, and any unique issues that may arise in performance of the contract. These are matters that are unique to each contract. If these questions are not asked and, therefore, not addressed in the agreement, in the event a dispute should arise the agreement will provide little guidance in resolving the dispute.

A little extra time in the preparation and drafting of a business contract may save much time and many dollars in avoiding or resolving a subsequent dispute between the parties. There are no contract "Value Meals" to order.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

What is Meritas?

Recently I attended a conference hosted by Meritas, a global alliance of law firms of which Wiggin & Nourie, P.A. is a member. As a new associate at Wiggin & Nourie, P.A., I was largely unfamiliar with this relationship and the ways in which the firm’s membership benefits our clients. I learned that this alliance enables W&N to offer our clients regional expertise anywhere in the world while maintaining the personal attention, superior responsiveness and cost-effectiveness that mid-sized firms are able to provide.

Membership in Meritas is like having a Wiggin & Nourie, P.A. branch office in every major market in the world; only better. Member firms are not just satellite offices of a firm whose main practice is located elsewhere. Only mid-sized firms with an established reputation in their local market are invited to join Meritas. Once member firms have been carefully selected, Meritas continues to monitor the quality of their legal services and requires regular recertification. Best of all, since it’s an alliance of mid-sized firms, Wiggin & Nourie, P.A. is able to maintain a cost-effectiveness that very large law firms just can’t match.

What this all means to our clients is that Meritas helps us to serve all their legal needs – whether they are here in New Hampshire or, through the regional expertise of other Meritas firms, virtually anywhere in the world.
For more information, see