You’ve done your research. You know what an investment attorney does, and you have a good idea of the kind of help you need—but how do you go about finding one? With so much at stake and so many financial advisors to choose from, it’s easy to feel confused and overwhelmed by the process of finding the right investment attorney for your case. Fortunately, there are plenty of qualified attorneys who specialize in this niche field. In fact, statistics suggest that demand for these services is only going to increase over time. So with that in mind, here are some tips on how to pick the right financial investment lawyer for your case:
Table of Contents
- Ask Around
- Research Licensing and Accreditation
- Narrow Your Choices Based on Service Offering
- Check for Reputational Risk and Conflicts of Interest
- Negotiate Fees and Commitment Terms Before Hiring
- Wrapping up
The first step to finding an attorney is to ask around. Financial advisors are highly specialized professionals; but the work itself is a general law practice. This means that any given attorney will have a broad range of experience, and a number of different specialties. Therefore, if you’re looking for help with a financial case, the best way to find the right attorney will be to ask other people in the financial services industry who they use. You can ask colleagues, customers, or even people within your industry-specific network.
Research Licensing and Accreditation
The next step in your search for the right attorney is to research licensing and accreditation. Each state has its own standards for what makes for a valid license to practice law. In some jurisdictions, this will be a license to practice in general. In others, it will be license to specific kinds of legal work. You will also want to check the attorney’s accreditation. This will tell you whether the attorney is qualified to practice in your local jurisdiction and will give you an idea of how specialized his or her practice is. As a general rule of thumb, the more specific and specialized the attorney’s accreditation is, the more experience they will have in a given niche field.
Narrow Your Choices Based on Service Offering
As you read through possible candidates, the next thing to consider is the service offering. The following are some of the most common types of financial investment services attorneys provide: – Assisting investors with identifying and evaluating investment opportunities – Providing investors with advice on managing and safeguarding their investment portfolios – Advising investors on maintaining compliance with relevant regulatory requirements – Representing investors in disputes with financial service providers (such as brokers)
Check for Reputational Risk and Conflicts of Interest
Reputational risk refers to the potential for an attorney to be incompetent or otherwise unqualified for the work they are doing. This is a risk you will want to be on the lookout for in your search for the right attorney. If you are not sure how to evaluate whether an attorney is unqualified for the work they do, you can ask for references from existing clients and also check reviews online. Conflicts of interest are less black-and-white than reputational risk, but they are also a very important consideration. Certain types of cases and clients will make it impossible for an attorney to represent you. For example, an attorney who represents clients in regulatory proceedings cannot also represent brokers accused of violating their regulatory requirements.
Negotiate Fees and Commitment Terms Before Hiring
Finally, before you commit to hiring a particular attorney, you should negotiate fees and commitment terms. This can help you make sure the attorney is on the same page as you and will take the case, and it can help you avoid getting into a situation where you are paying more than you can afford. You should also make sure the attorney is clear about the terms on which they will represent you. This includes the scope of services, any milestones that must be reached before the attorney can withdraw, and any conditions under which you will be expected to pay out of pocket to make up for the attorney’s time.
As you can see, there are a few different ways to go about finding the right financial investment attorney for your case. You can ask around, or you can do some research and find a good fit based on your needs and budget. No matter what, though, you should make sure to get all of your ducks in a row before hiring an attorney. This includes getting clear about your expectations, what the attorney can offer, and what it will cost you. Financial investment law is a complicated field, but there are plenty of qualified attorneys out there who can help.