Can your law firm represent my business even though we are located far from your offices?
Almost always, yes but sometimes, it depends.
In today’s virtual world, over 90% of our business, corporate, and intellectual property law practice is conducted in some manner other than face-to-face. Thus, it is no problem for us to represent not only clients physically located in Cupertino, Sunnyvale, Mountain View, Los Altos, Palo Alto, Campbell, Los Gatos, Milpitas, Fremont, San Jose, or elsewhere in Santa Clara County or Silicon Valley but also those located anywhere in the San Francisco Bay Area, including on the San Francisco Peninsula or in the North Bay or East Bay or, for that matter, anywhere in California or even worldwide. We have routinely represented clients located in Japan, Singapore, India, Germany, UK, Taiwan, and many parts of the world far removed from Silicon Valley. In modern business transactions, this is normal and presents no impediment to our being able to represent the legal interests of such clients.
Of course, if you are located in Texas and want us to represent you on matters concerning Texas law, then we cannot help you. We are California lawyers and not Texas lawyers. And similarly for other local jurisdictions. If your matter concerns Silicon Valley or California law matters, then the above applies and we can potentially help you even though you are located remotely from our offices.
If you are part of a founding team involved in a business startup whose members are located in far-flung locations, we can normally assist you without any problems as long as there is at least one founder or other key person who can serve as a local liaison – while the latter is not strictly necessary, it is a practical reality that most founding teams feel much more comfortable with their business startup attorney if someone whom they know relates well to that attorney based on direct personal interactions. Lawyers who do business startup law must be able to gain the confidence of the founding team or look elsewhere for their legal work – in our experience, having at least one key local link with the founding team is very important for this purpose.
In addition, for many small business clients, it is often important for the owners to have initial face-to-face contact with their business lawyer to determine their comfort level with that lawyer. This is not always needed, especially if the small business owner can gain a good comfort level based on the reputation of the attorney and based on telephonic conference calls. A lawyer’s expertise and command of issues will definitely convey itself across phone lines if the person asking the questions is a knowledgeable entrepreneur. Of course, for any client located within California, and certainly within the San Francisco Bay Area, it is normally easy to gather even a group of owners for an initial face-to-face meeting or two and then do the rest of the interaction by virtual means.
Commercial litigation also poses many situations where local presence is necessary but this is not invariably so. Our attorneys are often retained to help business clients located remotely from our offices with lawsuits in Silicon Valley and the like. If you have questions about this issue, feel free to call our office to discuss them with our attorneys.