Wednesday, August 25, 2010

A Well Kept Secret of Powerful Attorneys

Attention attorneys:

Are you regarded as one of the most powerful attorneys in your field? For example, did the Hollywood Reporter feature you in its 2010 Power Lawyers list?

If you answered “no,” consider a well-kept-secret from many of the Hollywood Reporter’s 2010 Power Lawyers:

What do so many powerful attorneys have in common? They know that:
1. It isn’t enough to know everything about intellectual property law, or the be a suave litigator
2. To be a power attorney, you must build a reputation of getting your clients a bigger piece of the pie
3. The most powerful attorneys seek the most help - getting lots of clients a bigger piece of the pie is not something you can do alone
To whom do powerful attorneys turn to gain leverage? The well-kept secret is a trusted auditor.

I know, since I am the auditor trusted by attorneys on many a “Power" list, including The Hollywood Reporter's:

However, few attorneys besides the upper echelon understand the power of knowledge that an auditor can provide. Those attorneys who appreciate the value of a compliance inspection typically have no idea that the decision to advise a client to audit rests squarely on their shoulders. (Often, if an attorney does not suggest an audit, nobody will - not even a business manager, unless the business manager happens to do audits... which presents a conflict of interest, incidentally.) Finally, when an attorney does realize that the decision to audit is largely hers, she may hesitate to advise a client to audit due to a fear of the unknown – unknown costs, unknown impact on business relationships and unknown recoveries.

This is why, if you represent someone who receives contingent compensation, it is crucial that you find at least one auditor you trust, who will:
· Help you figure out which cases require audits and which do not
· Advise you during negotiations of accounting clauses and definitions
· Take the stand and testify in the event of a royalty dispute that enters a litigation phase
· Perform due diligence and valuations of intellectual property
· Consult on bankruptcy and divorce cases that involve intellectual property
· Prepare royalty statements
· Conduct audits to:
o Recover your client's unpaid royalties or profits
o Ascertain compliance with marketing restrictions
o Identify breaches of contract
o Gain leverage for negotiation purposes
Building your team of experts now will give you the power to secure your clients royalty and profit entitlements and lay the foundation for your rise to powerful deal making and victories. Don't delay!