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New York Corporate Lawyer Cost

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How much does a corporate lawyer cost in New York? If you run a corporation in New York, you have probably encountered legal issues that require the assistance of a corporate lawyer. A common question to ask before hiring a lawyer is how much legal representation will cost. Let's explore this question and go over some basic information about corporate lawyers and the services they provide.

Based on ContractsCounsel's marketplace data, the average cost of a New York corporate lawyer is $150.00 - $595.00 per hour.

How Much Does a New York Corporate Lawyer Cost?

A New York corporate lawyer is a lawyer who specializes in legal services related to businesses and corporations. Sometimes called a business lawyer or commercial lawyer, corporate lawyers are knowledgeable in a variety of legal fields. Most corporate lawyers can advise business owners in the areas of contracts law, tax law, and employment law.

Before hiring a lawyer, it is important to find out how much legal services will cost and the type of fee arrangement the lawyer uses to charge clients. The cost of a corporate lawyer in New York will vary based on several factors like the city where the lawyer is located, the lawyer’s experience, and the amount of legal work to be completed.

What Legal Services does a New York Corporate Lawyer Provide?

New York corporate lawyers provide an wide range of legal services to companies and can serve as a valuable asset to a business owner.

Some common services that a business lawyer provides include:

  • Corporation formation. When establishing a new corporation, a business owner must decide which type of corporation to register with the state. New York has several options for corporations including S Corps, C Corps, non-profits, and professional corporations. A lawyer can help you decide which type of corporation best suits the needs of your company by looking at pros and cons each entity provides.
  • Drafting and filing corporate documents. Each type of corporation requires certain documents to be filed with the New York Secretary of State to officially establish the company as a recognized corporation. New York requires the filing of Articles of Incorporation and Corporate Bylaws. A corporate attorney will know how to properly draft and file both documents.
  • Contract drafting and review. One of the primary roles of a corporate lawyer is to draft and review business contracts and agreements. Commonly used business contracts include service agreements, employment contracts, non-compete agreements, and non-disclosure agreements. An experienced corporate lawyer will know how to properly draft a contract that is legally binding and protects the corporation and directors from unwanted litigation.
  • Compliance with state laws and regulations. In New York, the laws that govern corporations are frequently changing. A corporate lawyer will stay up to date on these changes and will ensure that their clients are operating the business within the bounds of the changing laws and regulations.
  • Mergers, acquisitions, and corporate restructuring. Restructuring a corporation as a result of a merger or acquisition can be a complicated process. A business lawyer will assist by conducting due diligence, identifying legal risks and liabilities associated with the transaction, and drafting and reviewing documents, like letters of intent, purchase agreements, and disclosure documents.
  • Intellectual property rights. Most corporations have an interest in protecting their intellectual property like trademarks, copyrights, patents, and trade secrets. A corporate lawyer can register a corporation’s intellectual property with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) to protect the corporation’s rights and avoid infringement issues.
  • Dispute resolution. It is not uncommon for disputes to arise when running a corporation. A lawyer can assist in settling legal issues in negotiation, arbitration, or by representing the corporation in a legal action in court.
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How Much Do Corporate Lawyers Take from Settlements in New York?

In New York, the average contingency fee amount, or the amount a lawyer takes from a settlement, is around 33% of the overall settlement. This percentage will vary based on the lawyer and the agreement made between the parties at the onset of representation.

Contingency fee agreements are most seen in personal injury or civil litigation cases. Corporate lawyers tend to charge clients by the hour rather than agreeing to contingency based representation. Under an hourly rate fee agreement, the lawyer will keep track of all hours spent working for a client then bill the client at a predetermined hourly rate.

Charging hourly instead of on a contingent basis makes more sense for a corporate lawyer. A corporate lawyer’s legal services extend far beyond the courtroom and most services are transactional, not litigation.

What is the Most Expensive Lawyer Per Hour?

In New York, arbitration lawyers and corporate lawyers are some of the most expensive lawyers averaging a rate around $500 per hour. However, these rates vary based on the location of the lawyer and attorney experience. For example, a corporate lawyer in New York City will be far more expensive than a corporate lawyer in a more rural area outside of the city.

Here are some of the average fees for attorneys in New York based on practice areas:

Factors That Impact Lawyer Costs in New York

Area of Practice

The type of law practiced by a lawyer will significantly affect the cost of legal services. If an attorney practices in a specialized area of law that requires additional education or certification like healthcare law or intellectual property law, they can usually charge more for their time.

Corporate lawyers tend to specialize in various areas of law like contract law, employment law, and tax law. In addition, many corporate lawyers are also trained litigators. This means they can file lawsuits on behalf of a corporation and defend the corporation if legal action is taken against the company. These additional specializations make a corporate lawyer more valuable and will enable that lawyer to charge more for their time.

Level of Experience

An attorney's experience will affect how much the attorney will charge clients for legal services. Experienced lawyers with years of knowledge, a good reputation, and a proven track record in court are in high demand so these lawyers can charge clients more.

Experienced corporate lawyers will have a more nuanced understanding of the law and be able to provide clients with more sound advice and guidance. An experienced attorney will be familiar with common mistakes in contracts, or how to best negotiate through a corporate dispute.

Amount of Work Required

Different cases and legal projects will require different amounts of work. For a lawyer who charges clients using an hourly rate, the time spent on a case will affect the overall cost of legal services. More complex cases like negotiating and facilitating a merger will need more hours of work than a simple contract review.

Before hiring a lawyer for legal services, a client should be clear in the work the needs to be done so the lawyer can provide the client an accurate estimate of how much representation may cost.

Get Help with Hiring an Attorney

Do you need help with hiring a corporate attorney for a project? If so, post a project in ContractsCounsel’s marketplace to receive bids from corporate lawyers who are licensed to practice law in New York and can handle your project. All lawyers on the ContractsCounsel's platform are vetted by our team to make sure you are provided with top-tier service.

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