Navigating The Complexities Of Commercial Law: The Role Of A Commercial Lawyer In South Africa

As a business owner or manager, you will often find that there will be legal aspects surrounding the everyday running of your company or organisation. These aspects might encompass business transactions, economic and legal disputes, financial matters, litigation, etc. The question is, how do you go about ensuring that these things get handled legally and appropriately?

Commercial lawyers deal with business and commercial legal matters. They can assist business owners and managers with paperwork, documentation, and transactions while also being able to help you with any other company issues that might require actions, motions, or problems with the courts.

There are many benefits to hiring a commercial lawyer to aid your business with its endeavors, from drafting important legal documents to ensuring that your intellectual property is legally protected. Before considering whether your business might benefit from the aid of a commercial lawyer, it might be a good idea to learn about the different roles a commercial lawyer can play.


8 Primary Roles Of Commercial Lawyers In South Africa

Commercial lawyers handle interactions between individuals and business entities in the business world. Depending on their client’s unique needs and requirements, they can fulfill many duties.

Good commercial lawyers will be proficient and knowledgeable in various legal practices and fields. An experienced commercial lawyer will be able to act in the business’s best interests and ensure that all laws and compliances are adequately followed.

Of all the services that commercial lawyers provide, the following eight can be vital to a business.


1. The Drafting Of Legal Documentation

For documentation to be legally compliant, it needs to be drafted correctly. Commercial lawyers study the laws and therefore know how to correctly interpret and draw up each document.

After preparing, they can review the documentation, ensuring it is accurate. They can also acquire required signatures or necessary supporting documents from company executives. A commercial lawyer can file these documents in court on your behalf or via the correct online portal.

Examples of legal documentation that commercial lawyers commonly draft for businesses and organisations include:

  • Privacy policies
  • Letters of demand
  • Business merger agreements
  • Cease and desist letters
  • Shareholder agreements
  • Partnership agreements


2. Negotiating With Other Businesses

Regarding the negotiation process between two businesses, commercial lawyers are often present to ensure the process goes smoothly and help ensure that any decisions are in the company’s best interests.

There are many ways that a commercial lawyer can help during the negotiation process, including acting as an advisor guiding business dealings by helping to ensure that the company gets the best possible deal while meeting all necessary compliances. They can also help by participating directly in the negotiation process and making decisions on the company’s behalf.

Some instances require that a lawyer be present during the negotiations, and typically they are the ones who will file the legal documents.


3. Acting As A Clients Legal Representation In Court

If an organisation or business ever has to appear before a court, whether to face legal charges, make an appeal before a judge, or for any other legal issue that requires them to enter a courtroom, a commercial lawyer would be their legal representative.

Commercial lawyers would be responsible for compiling court documentation, petitioning on behalf of their clients, representing their clients in litigation and defence, and advising them on how best to navigate the intricacies of the courtroom and the legal processes involved.


4. Negotiating Legal Problems

If your business encounters legal troubles, it is a commercial lawyer that you want to help you resolve any legal issues. They can use their knowledge to help you investigate the matter, gather evidentiary support, and submit appeals to the courts. They will be able to help you navigate the legal processes and advise you on the best course of action you should take to rectify the problem.


5. Preparing For Any Legal Concerns

As commercial lawyers are knowledgeable about the intricacies involved with the legalities surrounding the business world, they are in the best position to advise their clients on any potential legal concerns they might face. They can help by warning clients when their operations conflict with specific laws and detailing any legal problems a client might encounter.

Commercial lawyers can benefit a company by helping them plan for the future by drafting internal policies to provide their clients with legal shelters, thus reducing the risk of unnecessary costs and legal procedures.


6. Protecting Company Assets And Property

One of the fundamental ways a business can benefit from the aid of a commercial lawyer is when it comes to protecting property and assets. In most cases, commercial lawyers will be clued up on aspects surrounding intellectual property law and, through this knowledge, will be able to advise their clients on their rights concerning the content that comes from the mind, such as logos, media, or other graphics.

Intellectual property is a crucial aspect of a business and ensuring that your business ideas and assets are protected before they even reach the public eye is essential. This forethought will help to reduce costs associated with impersonation or theft at a later stage.


7. Ensuring Business Compliance

Part of the duties of commercial lawyers is to stay up to date with new compliance laws. These laws can include aspects surrounding business operations, legal standards, environmental impacts, employee safety issues, or compensations. Company executives can benefit from this by having their lawyers explain these new updates.

Commercial lawyers can also indicate the penalties for non-compliance and aid their clients by ensuring all paperwork and filings for compliance laws are current.


8. Keeping Up To Date With New Laws

Commercial lawyers can provide up-to-date guidance and advice to their clients because they study all new commercial laws, interpret these laws and update any legal documentation to ensure that businesses remain legally compliant.

There are so many ways that a commercial lawyer can benefit a business or organisation. For this reason, it is best practice to employ the services of a commercial lawyer from your business or organisation’s inception. This way, you can ensure that your business is compliant and that if you encounter any legal issues along the way, you can deal with them immediately and effectively.

If you decide that your business or organisation would benefit from the aid of a commercial lawyer, our Burnett Attorneys & Notaries team is experienced and knowledgeable on the subject. We would be happy to discuss how we can help you protect your future. You can contact our team today for more information.