Do's And Don'ts Of Hiring A lawyer | Label Worx
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Do's And Don'ts Of Hiring A lawyer
Posted By : Laura Holness
|
Posted Date : November 15th, 2019
Lawyers play a huge part in contributing to the progression of an artist's career or record label's growth.

Don't get us wrong, we know that lawyers have a bad rep. They're not all bad though and rumours aren't always true. A lawyer may be able to help with crucial aspects, such as licensing agreements or negotiating the details of sample clearance. A lot of the time, artists and record labels spend so much valuable time dealing with legal issues throughout their career. Wouldn't it be amazing if that time could be spent on what matters... the music, whilst a lawyer dealt with the legal issues? Most of the time a lawyer can become one of the most important members of the team.

Legal problems are always something which no one in the music industry wants and something a lot of new artists don't consider at the beginning of their career. But it's so important to understand when and why a lawyer might be needed.

So first things first, get ready to be surprised! Lawyers can deal with issues in virtually every area of your career.

Including:

  • Merchandising deals.

  • Touring fees.

  • Intellectual property assigned to your compositions.

  • Negotiating management commission.

  • Settle collaborator's advance payment and/or share of royalties.

  • Major long-term royalty implications e.g. television production wanting to license your music.

  • Negotiating the best deals possible and making sure contracts are legal and correct whilst having your interests at heart. Allowing no blindsiding, as no one wants to sign their life away - something very important for rising artists.

  • Lawyers will hope for the best and help plan for the worst.

  • Act as general counsel for you, but remember the owner of all shares of the company is still ultimately entitled to approve decisions made.


What do you want in a lawyer?

  • Passion.

  • Determination.

  • Get a lawyer that cares as much as you do.

  • Make sure the lawyer you hire specialises in what you need and want, e.g. a certain field or jurisdiction. You need them to be qualified in that sector to be able to negotiate your deals. Just remember, all lawyers are not the same!


Watch out! - Most of the time lawyers are not going to charge you for asking a question. And if they do then you probably shouldn't be working with one.

Legal questions to ask yourself, with or without a lawyer, you should know these details:

  • Is every member an equal partner in your company?

  • Is everyone free to quit at will?

  • Who owns your artist name?

  • What do you think your contract says?

  • What do you think your contract is supposed to say?


So next time you think about hiring a lawyer or making a legal decision you may want to consider the above.

 

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