Is there a lawyer in the house?

PREVENTION is preferable to cure - that is the old message behind a new Law Society initiative, aimed at encouraging businesses to make greater use of solicitors.

The Law Society said that a business should have a lawyer as part of its team, rather than waiting until the company faces a legal problem before seeking out expert advice.

'Seeing a solicitor first could mean avoiding the problem altogether,' the society added, 'saving wasted money and anxiety - and possibly avoiding a threat to the business itself.'

Nearly 2,000 solicitors' offices throughout England and Wales have signed up for the 'Lawyers for Your Business' programme, which is backed by Business in the Community, the Federation of Small Businesses and the Forum of Private Business.

Users are offered a free diagnostic interview of at least a half-hour without obligation, before deciding whether to employ the firm - 'so users need have no anxieties about cost,' the society said.

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