No matter what business you’re in, you should have an attorney review your contracts. If you don’t, one small mistake could cost you millions of dollars, which, more than likely, would put you out of business. But if you don’t have an attorney, what should you look for in one?
If you don’t know any attorneys, use your networks to find one. For example, if you’re a TruMethods member, ask around your TruPeer group. Someone should be able to assist you.
Avoid cutting corners when hiring an attorney. Your attorney should have experience with IT support agreements and cybersecurity. In my experience, this is extremely important, and it’s not something you should overlook.
Your attorney must also stay up to date with what’s happening in our industry to protect you from the ever-evolving landscape we operate in. Does your attorney read our industry’s trade publications or sit in on webinars hosted by vendors in our space? What about your attorney’s understanding of what you do and the services you provide, and how you differentiate yourself from your competitors? If your attorney has no interest in the MSP space, you may want to find another attorney.
In addition to drafting and reviewing contracts, your attorney should review your master services agreement (MSA) every year. That’s right — every year! Not every five years or couple of years — every year. Having your attorney do this is worth every penny.
Your MSA is one of the most important documents at your disposal. Ultimately, your MSA is the framework of your relationship with a client. Additionally, it highlights when and how you get paid, response times, hours of availability, a termination clause, and more. An attorney who has worked with MSPs before more than likely has an MSA already drafted.
Other qualities you should look for in an attorney include availability, rapport, responsive communication, and dedication.
If you don’t already have an attorney, you should consider getting one immediately — but before you do, ask your peers for attorneys they’d recommend. You will want someone with experience in the MSP space, who has drafted MSAs, is dedicated, and communicates effectively.