Commercial solicitors are solicitors who specialise in business law. They mainly work with companies to ensure that they comply with national and international laws. They also advise businesses about whether planned actions are legal, and if they are not legal, how they can be adapted so that they are legal.
Commercial solicitors are normally involved in drafting and negotiating the contracts which relate to commercial deals. They help business to ensure that they are getting a good deal and that there are no loopholes which could have a negative impact for the company later on. If they do notice any loopholes or hidden clauses, they must be able to calculate how this could affect the deal and what it may mean in the future.
Commercial solicitors are expected to have a strong understanding of intellectual property law, data protection law, employment law, contract law and corporate law. They should be able to advise businesses about which members of staff may be considered legally liable for that business’ actions.
Training to be a Commercial Solicitor
Most people who train to become a commercial solicitor will do an undergraduate degree in the first instance. If they completed an undergraduate Law degree, then they can move straight on to the vocational Legal Practice Course. If they completed any other undergraduate degree then they can apply for a postgraduate law conversion course.
Candidates who are interested in becoming commercial solicitors may find that undergraduate degrees in either business management or economics are particularly useful. At each stage of the training, it is possible to choose modules which focus on commercial law. These modules will help to give the candidate the theoretical knowledge that they need to practice as a commercial solicitor.
One of the final stages of becoming a qualified commercial solicitor is to complete a training contract with a law firm or legal department. Trainee commercial solicitors are recommended to search for training contracts with firms which specialise in commercial law. These places can be very competitive.
How much can a commercial solicitor earn?
Commercial law is one of the most lucrative branches of law, but the earning potential will still depend on the candidate’s experience and the stage that they are at in their career. Other than the national minimum wage, there is no minimum salary for trainee lawyers, although the smaller firms will offer their trainees between £16,000 and £22,000. Once qualified, most junior solicitors will earn between £20,000 and £30,000 as commercial solicitors.
The highest salaries can be found amongst experienced solicitors who work in large multi-national corporations. These people can earn six figure salaries. They are normally expected to head a team of junior solicitors and have a strong understanding of international business law.
What skills should a commercial solicitor have?
Commercial solicitors must have an interest in the way that businesses operate. They should have a good head for figures, so that they can make accurate calculations about the impacts of changes. They must be strong negotiators, so that they can get the best possible outcome for their clients. It is important that they are thorough and pay due diligence to everything that is going on around them, so that they can spot any loopholes in contracts before they cause a problem for the client.
Commercial solicitors must also be prepared to work long hours. Many commercial solicitors work late into the night and through the weekend to make sure that everything is ready for a deadline. They are also required to be flexible to meet the needs of the businesses which they work with, as tight deadlines could be imposed upon them at very short notice.