The Network is a non-profit association, open to all B.C. lawyers, that helps lawyers assist clients - both buyers and sellers - with business, property and financial interests, including the purchase, sale and financing of commercial properties and businesses. It is a forum for lawyers to pool their collective client and business contacts.
The potential for lawyers, through the Network, to tap into a pool of contacts means that one can almost pick up the lawyers directory and multiply the number of lawyers by the number of clients they may have. The Network is intended to help lawyers represent clients throughout business and property transactions, and to receive fees commensurate with the value of their services.
In Canada clients regularly pay real estate agents commissions of between 4% and 7%, while lawyers currently receive conveyancing fees worth one-tenth the value of those commissions. This network should provide opportunities for lawyers and give clients greater choice in providing a one-stop service for clients of lawyers who want market exposure for their business or property in addition to legal advice on the purchase or sale.
A client enjoys several advantages in choosing a lawyer, including the promise of strict confidentiality, which can be critical in commercial transactions.
The Lawyers Business and Property Network has the following services:
- A public website providing general information for lawyers and clients.
- A "B.C. lawyers-only" intranet . Members of the Network can post client properties, businesses or other interests on a central database to be used for negotiating and concluding transactions on behalf of clients.
- Information and template packages with standard forms for listings, templates for retainer agreements and guidelines on how to handle an initial set of transactions.
- Package of support services. On behalf of clients, members of the Network can purchase an optional service from an outside supplier who manages and provides signs, valuations, property descriptions, photos and other related materials.