We were at a seminar where an attorney spoke regarding buying and selling businesses. She brought up an important point: your attorney for this task should not be the same one you would use for a divorce or a drunk driving defense. It’s important that your attorney for buying or selling your business is not an obstructionist and should not be trying to help his client get a “win”. This is a transaction where both parties need to win, or the process will be a fail, with bad blood following the transaction.
I have seen a number of transactions where the attorney(s) have been both obstructionists, and totally trying to one-up the other side with unfair clauses. In one case, the buyers finally decided to leave their attorney out of the contract phase because even they saw that their attorney was hampering the transaction.
One of the other comments made was that the attorney for this process should be one that does a lot of buy/sells, and that you should make sure the other side has an experienced attorney too, or your attorney will have to “run the clock” to teach the other attorney the fine points of buying and selling. This was some of the best free legal advice I’ve ever seen!