Not a lawyer but giving a legal consultation. Watch

Ketchuplover
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Hi everyone,
I just graduated and this company wants to make me the head of legal. They gave me a memorandum to sign to say that I will give them legal consultation.

I only just graduated, - not a qualified lawyer, didnt do my LPC either. Is this illegal to do? What do you think?
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Ketchuplover
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Look at this guy for example:
https://www.legalcheek.com/2016/01/l...-law-practice/

he is a law student and he is advising...
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Dolphin Sparkles
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Take the job.
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Ketchuplover
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but i don't know **** about what want me to advise them on, i just graduated lmao - they want me because they're a startup and connections but i will be paid good
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SarcAndSpark
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(Original post by Ketchuplover)
Hi everyone,
I just graduated and this company wants to make me the head of legal. They gave me a memorandum to sign to say that I will give them legal consultation.

I only just graduated, - not a qualified lawyer, didnt do my LPC either. Is this illegal to do? What do you think?
This sounds quite odd/dodgy to me. Does the document put any liability on you if you give them the wrong advice? What areas would they want legal advice on? Presumably it's impossible for you to be able to advise well on both commercial law and employment law, say.

Could you seek out some legal advice yourself?
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Notoriety
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As I recall, SRA regards "legal consultant" to be a grey area and tell you to avoid using such titles.

I think it is fairly obvious they're using consultation to avoid "advice". If they're aware that you are not a lawyer and they have spelled it out elsewhere that the type of consultation you will be doing will not be advice, I would not see an issue. Just make sure you do not have the job title or put on your LinkedIn that you're a legal consultant, as you might get in some trouble if you're reported.

I think this is correct; 999tigger was on the thread where this was discussed in the past. I wonder if this is something J-SP might have experience with too?
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Ketchuplover
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(Original post by Notoriety)
As I recall, SRA regards "legal consultant" to be a grey area and tell you to avoid using such titles.

I think it is fairly obvious they're using consultation to avoid "advice". If they're aware that you are not a lawyer and they have spelled it out elsewhere that the type of consultation you will be doing will not be advice, I would not see an issue. Just make sure you do not have the job title or put on your LinkedIn that you're a legal consultant, as you might get in some trouble if you're reported.

I think this is correct; 999tigger was on the thread where this was discussed in the past. I wonder if this is something J-SP might have experience with too?

Can I put head of legal?

The MoU says this:
The objective of this MOU is to express the willingness of both parties to engage in an effort to promote the competitiveness of BUSINESS LLC. Specific activities under this MOU will be identified through consultation between the two parties. MY NAME agrees to provide technical legal assistance to assist Holoflake LLC to carry out all the activities related to product developing, in order to complete a successful ICO. As a preliminary activity, MY NAME will conduct a legal consultation tasks with BUSINESS. BUSINESS agrees to work with and coordinate with MY NAME in the development of their initiatives to improve the organization activities of the project.


Coordination: In order to carry out and fulfill the aims of this agreement, BUSINESS LLC. will appoint an appropriate person(s) to represent its organization and to coordinate the implementation of activities. BUSINESS LLC and MY NAME will meet regularly (preferably with one week’ notice) on Skype to discuss progress and plan activities.
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Ketchuplover
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(Original post by J-SP)
No experience with this type of thing. Only similarity was a start up company who employed someone iI career coached, but they weren’t given such a fancy title and were given support to become qualified.

Are you billing them or are you going to be a PAYE employee?

Well this is a startup cryptocurrency business. They said they would pay me in dollars - only if the crowdfunding is complete (which is likely)
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Profesh
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This thread is exquisitely ironic.
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Ketchuplover
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(Original post by Notoriety)
As I recall, SRA regards "legal consultant" to be a grey area and tell you to avoid using such titles.

I think it is fairly obvious they're using consultation to avoid "advice". If they're aware that you are not a lawyer and they have spelled it out elsewhere that the type of consultation you will be doing will not be advice, I would not see an issue. Just make sure you do not have the job title or put on your LinkedIn that you're a legal consultant, as you might get in some trouble if you're reported.

I think this is correct; 999tigger was on the thread where this was discussed in the past. I wonder if this is something J-SP might have experience with too?
I will tell them to change it and add a section saying he understands i am only a legal graduate, not a qualified lawye on the MoU. Is that fine?

Also, can i say head of legal? is that any different?
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Duncan2012
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You should show this thread to your last academic supervisor and ask if you can have a refund on your tuition fees.
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Ketchuplover
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(Original post by Profesh)
This thread is exquisitely ironic.
it's a grey area. even very experienced lawyers themselves learn everything new each day. i appreciate every input
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Ketchuplover
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(Original post by J-SP)
That’s not what I meant.

I meant are you an employee of the company or are you a consultant (ie are you having to invoice them or are you getting a pay cheque)?

The difference in terms of liability will be huge. I am not even sure you would get insurance if you are going to self employed route and you are not qualified.


Business Is obliged to offer full employment on agreed terms to NAME, if there is willingness from his side
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Ketchuplover
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(Original post by Duncan2012)
You should show this thread to your last academic supervisor and ask if you can have a refund on your tuition fees.
I hate law, I'm an investor but atm, this is a job offer I got to keep me busy while I'm doing my investing because that doesn't take a long time. It's a good title too.

I've actually done a lot for them in terms of legal documents etc. but there is one part where I have never read about and it's based on the grey areas of a legal issue in another country.
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Ketchuplover
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(Original post by J-SP)
So the document provides full details of your employee rights?
"All agreed terms will be specified in additional document called Terms, which will apply on this MOU.

Business is obliged to pay NAME his agreed share in HLF tokens.

BUSINESS is obliged to pay NAME his agreed bonus in $.... (no number here)

Business Is obliged to offer full employment on agreed terms to NAME, if there is willingness from her side."

this is all there is, I need to ask for the terms document too.
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Notoriety
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You need to have your role clearly defined. I would not be willing to take on the role of head of legal, if I were you. You cannot find this simple info from the SRA site and I doubt you're able to learn all that you need to know about law to earn your keep. Speaking from experience, practical law and academic law are completely different; there is a steep learning curve, one you need to be supported in exploring. Why not just say you have a business development role and in your own time take on compliance/proofing contracts? As you're getting bigger, though, you're really going to need a real lawyer to come in and give real legal advice especially as it is a complex area of business law.

If you want to do it anyway. For the now, make sure you have an employment contract; you can find forms online (Westlaw has some in their employment encyclopedia). Make sure your role is expressly not legal or anything like that, in substance and form. As J-SP and someone else pointed out, you need a contract to define your own liability; incorrect advice can cost you your business, happy relationships turn sour, and suddenly you will find yourself wishing you'd got some assurances from your business partners.
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SarcAndSpark
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(Original post by Ketchuplover)
"All agreed terms will be specified in additional document called Terms, which will apply on this MOU.

Business is obliged to pay NAME his agreed share in HLF tokens.

BUSINESS is obliged to pay NAME his agreed bonus in $.... (no number here)

Business Is obliged to offer full employment on agreed terms to NAME, if there is willingness from her side."

this is all there is, I need to ask for the terms document too.
Not a lawyer in any shape or form, but that's not an employment contract. That sounds more like you're being considered a freelancer/consultant (this would give you very little protection for you in all sorts of areas).

In all honesty, this is starting to sound like a scam to me. Are you being asked to put in any money upfront?
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Ketchuplover
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(Original post by SarcAndSpark)
Not a lawyer in any shape or form, but that's not an employment contract. That sounds more like you're being considered a freelancer/consultant (this would give you very little protection for you in all sorts of areas).

In all honesty, this is starting to sound like a scam to me. Are you being asked to put in any money upfront?
No, they put me on their website. They said I will not be paid until the crowdfunding which will take place in September. (Many recent startups in the investment sector do this).

Shall I look for a different job? I am interested in investment - A LOT. I love investing and trading. However, since I have a law degree and it's a reputable sector and good for my CV, i thought i should take it even if i got paid a small amount but since i am not a qualified lawyer, i cant even put it on my cv... right?
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SarcAndSpark
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(Original post by Ketchuplover)
No, they put me on their website. They said I will not be paid until the crowdfunding which will take place in September. (Many recent startups in the investment sector do this).

Shall I look for a different job? I am interested in investment - A LOT. I love investing and trading. However, since I have a law degree and it's a reputable sector and good for my CV, i thought i should take it even if i got paid a small amount but since i am not a qualified lawyer, i cant even put it on my cv... right?

Ugh, I wrote out a long reply and then lost it. Short version- if you are meant to be an employee, don't agree to be paid "when the money comes through"- if you do lots of work and the money never comes through it'll be very easy for them not to pay you, especially without a proper contract. If you're working then billing them for your hours and responsible for your own tax/ni you're a contractor and have way less rights and probably way more liability.

Either way, if the crowdfunding doesn't work out you could easily end up with nothing as the company can declare themselves bankrupt and if there is no money, you won't get paid.

I think this would raise questions on your CV if you termed it "head of legal". If you are a contractor and phrase it as such, and maybe avoid the term "legal advice" but explain what you've done for the company, it might benefit your CV.

Honestly though, this all just sounds dodgy as hell to me and you'd be better off finding something else with a company that has already got its funding secured long term. And maybe something that actually fits your skill set and doesn't leave you open to being sued.
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