COLUMN: Sheffield City Region SMEs ‘turning a blind eye’ to legal services

Mark Serby, of Wake Smith.
Mark Serby, of Wake Smith.

Column by Mark Serby, director of Wake Smith Solicitors.

Research has shown that many small businesses avoid engaging the services of a lawyer altogether.

The prospect of complicated advice and contracts, and more importantly legal fees, leads many small and medium enterprises to bury their heads in the sand - which can be a costly mistake in the long run.

Ignorance and avoidance is exactly when the law can become complicated, stressful and expensive.

Solicitors at Sheffield-based Wake Smith are keen to welcome SMEs to discuss their new businesses, forward planning and help them to avoid costly pitfalls down the line.

Mark Serby, director, said: “Wake Smith has a keen appreciation of its SME client base - how they think, work, and consume legal services.

“We focus on delivering the right type of advice.

“If you take a new business, which doesn’t have much capital at first, the cost of a start up package, including directors and shareholders agreements, company formation and contract of employment, may look prohibitive.

“It can seem costly to a small company which is also seeing a host of other expenses going out initially.

“But never has the phrase prevention is better than cure been so applicable.

“This initial investment can save thousands of pounds down the line when things can turn not quite as rosy.”

And with the SME market so vast - the sector employs 14.4m people, has a combined turnover of more than £1.6 trillion and a massive £9 billion spend on legal advice in one form or another - any commercial law firm wishing to grow needs to know how to win market share in this space.

Mark added: “This sector is a target market that the legal sector cannot ignore.

“And of course, it’s not always about dealing with a crisis.

“Good news needs sound legal advice and backing.

“You might be looking to take on new employees or consultants and need to draft a secure contract or need legal advice on terms and conditions, selling shares or taking on finance.

“We are also seeing more and more SMEs grow and diversify and so the need for leasing or buying a new premises comes to the fore.”

SMEs who require advice on company and commercial law, commercial property and employment matters can contact Mark Serby at Wake Smith on 0114 266 6660.

The office opening hours are Monday to Friday, 8.30am to 5.30pm.

For more information visit the company website at