Sunday, November 19, 2017
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Business Creation and Operation

FACT negotiates and drafts contracts for our clients. We also create companies and subsidiaries. Then we help manage as many aspects of their operation as our clients choose -- preparing corporate documentation, investigating trademarks and brands, and reviewing marketing materials -- whatever it takes to get out clients into successful commercial transactions instead of litigation.

We also strategize with our clients regarding which legal or business services should be performed in-house, and which should be performed by other professionals on a contract basis, both initially and long-term.

We combine our decades of experience in the process of business formation and operation with our clients’ expertise in their particular field, thereby creating synergy to produce the most successful result possible in the most cost-efficient manner.

You decide…..we provide!

FACT is more flexible than larger law firms, so we provide only the legal and business services that our clients actually need or want….without insisting upon a “whole package” merely to keep some large in-house staff busy. Instead, our clients decide exactly how much they will choose to invest in each aspect of their business and when to do so. Business decision-makers are the driving force, not the lawyers.

To make that happen, we provide ourselves on being responsive and available, according to our clients’ needs and schedules.

We also provide a risk assessment program to business, including a review of corporate or partnership governance, contracts, branding, records management and human resources. For product manufacturers and distributors, we include an assessment of product quality.

Intellectual Property Rights

For copyrights, trademarks, patents and other intellectual property rights, FACT provides advanced strategic IPR (Intellectual Property Rights) services based on the cumulative experience of our attorneys. We provide IPR solutions to all businesses and industries, including strategic licensing negotiations, IPR strategy drafting and management training, as well as incident and litigation control and strategy advice.

Our experience is based on hands-on management of Fortune 500 company IPR strategy, IPR portfolio creation and IPR licensing management as well as actual negotiations and litigation management.

While we do not draft patent, trademark or design patent applications, we have access to the best filing and prosecution firms all over the world, and we provide our clients with up-to-date advice on prosecution management and filing tactics.

We also train middle and top management in IPR issues. This is of utmost importance, as IPR is among the most valuable assets of any business, and requires constant refining and fine-tuning to provide value for the immense investments necessary.

Corporate and Business Security

FACT provides advanced corporate security strategy and risk management advice, training and delivery. This is based on our attorneys' hands-on experience in Fortune 500 companies under challenging circumstances, including creation and management of an entire Corporate Security service.

While we do not directly provide the actual corporate security service, we advise our clients in risk management and mitigation, and arrange delivery of the actual service through our excellent worldwide contacts with the highest quality local firms with excellent contacts and relationships.

Liability Avoidance and Risk Reduction

”Businesses CAN avoid liability risks, not merely defend claims.” That’s not a statement likely to be made by a team of lawyers. Yet that’s the bold contention that FACT lawyers have made -- and already proven for nearly three decades -- in North America, Europe and worldwide.

Liability claims are the least predictable risks faced by every business. Any company that’s ever defended a claim – win or lose – hopes never to repeat the experience. It’s just bad for business.

So it’s best to stay out of the liability mess altogether…here’s how we’ve done it successfully for FACT clients.

Why prevent claims

It would be nice just to say “no thanks” when someone claims your company is liable for something! But that’s mere wishful thinking once something’s gone wrong enough for a claim to be made……and oftentimes claims are made even if nothing’s gone wrong (when it merely looks like it may have, enough for a claim to be made).

In either circumstance, there’s always an employee somewhere thinking “if only I’d done this or that differently.”

If anyone from the company admits that in court, though, it might hurt their case. So silence rules, the company makes the same mistakes again in different ways, and then ends up in court over and over. Once a claim is “in litigation” that’s just the way it is.

So most companies just go on with their daily routine, pay to insure against the risks, spend countless hours to defend against the inevitable claims, settle most of them for no good reason, yet grudgingly accept it all as a senseless but unavoidable cost of doing business.

But what if your company took some decisive action to avoid claims in the first place? What if you made a systematic effort in advance to discover what might go wrong, and then did exactly what’s needed to prevent bad things from happening in the first place?

Now that would be real progress! If harmful incidents simply don’t happen, then liability claims won’t happen either. Besides, the budget needed for that preventative work is a fraction of what the lawyers and outside experts cost to defend lawsuits later, even if insurance is paying the bills (because you’re always paying higher insurance premiums).

Every dollar spent for prevention saves many more dollars spent needlessly elsewhere. Optimizing your legal budget means cutting the enormous costs of litigation. Likewise, insurance costs depend upon your ability to demonstrate to your insurer the company’s readiness to thwart potential liability losses or else face significant increases in premiums. Spending a little time and money on prevention now always pays for itself in the none-too-distant future.

How to prevent claims?

It’s not enough just to “run it by legal”, to improve product quality or to delegate prevention work to other departments. It’s also not helpful to hire consultants to do statistical analyses, to prepare actuarial tables or to make impractical academic recommendations. Those old tactics just don’t work any more.

The only way to preclude liability is to put into place a real company-wide procedure to:

  • Identify actual risks that can result in legal claims, then
  • Take effective steps to eliminate or to reduce those risks.

That procedure should not come from outside your company. Instead, it needs to be created by a cross-functional safety and liability team from within your own company’s ranks, so it’s tailored to your company’s specific needs -- the needs that your employees already know best.

Each firm function is represented on that team. The team’s task is to identify everything that can go wrong and to address every contingency in advance, in detail, yet in confidence. Each function contributes a unique perspective. Legal personnel might miss risks that someone from corporate communications, logistics, accounting, marketing or sourcing might see.

When gaps are found, then -- and only then -- outside consultants can be used in ways that are useful and not wasteful.

Who’s the best qualified to prevent claims?

Your own employees are your best resource to prevent liability claims. They know your firm’s potential liability risks the best……much better than any outside consultants ever could. They should be the key members of your in-house safety and liability team.

However, getting that team to work together as it should is far more challenging than it seems. It won’t happen quickly or automatically. Your in-house team needs to be guided by professionals who are experienced in the process, yet who are simultaneously willing to let your company’s unique circumstances define the end result.

Those professionals must also come from outside the company, to be sure that no single department in your company is mistakenly seen by the others as ‘owning’ the safety and liability team process.

 

That’s where FACT steps in. After decades of experience in managing clients’ liability prevention work, FACT personnel are uniquely qualified to:

  • Identify the most appropriate structure for your company’s safety and liability team
  • Provide systematic methods to locate vulnerabilities within your company
  • Guide your team to determine necessary actions and to implement them effectively
  • Deliver legal expertise and advice on potential liabilities and evolving regulations
  • Prepare a records system for your company to defend successfully against claims
  • Assemble necessary expert support from scientists and technical professionals

Unlike other so-called ‘risk management services’ FACT lawyers do not manage your company’s risks for you. Our extensive experience has shown that your own personnel can do that far better than anyone else, by implementing a safety and liability team using the proven process that FACT provides.

In other words, FACT’s liability prevention services expand and complement your company’s existing legal and quality strategies, and do not replace them. Our work is consistently welcomed by in-house legal/quality departments and outside lawyers, because it does not compete with their efforts. Real risks are reduced, so the remaining frivolous claims can be handled more successfully, and that makes everybody look good!

Such an in-house safety and liability team effort also resolves fundamental risk management issues such as:

  • Do we hire outside firms or do it ourselves?
  • Who is best equipped -- lawyers, risk managers or technical experts?
  • How do we get buy-in from our own personnel?
  • How can sensitive communications become lawyer-client confidential?
  • What records should be kept and how should they be managed?
  • Prevention costs less than defense, but how can costs be controlled?

Each department’s active participation on the in-house team enables the optimal end result, so long as the process is managed effectively. That process management is done best by FACT professionals.