Lawyers and SMEs

21 Mar ’05

The CBA’s magazine The National has an interesting piece on the role that lawyers can play in counselling SME’s, a market often ignored in favour of larger more established businesses. Quote:

Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) continue to grow within Canada and most other industrialized nations, representing a major source of economic development. In Quebec alone, for example, 200,000 SMEs employ close to 45% of the workforce. Yet this vital sector of the economy remains under-served by lawyers.

Many SME executives view lawyers as just litigators, says economist Pierre Boucher, who recently co-authored (with Daniel Mercier) a study on the employability of lawyers with Quebec SMEs. Over the past year, Boucher and Mercier met with entrepreneurs, industry associations, and development agency representatives in order to better define what roles lawyers could play in these businesses

The study revealed that lawyers are rarely present during the growth of SMEs. Boucher says that’s because lawyers aren’t projecting the right image to these entrepreneurs. “They don’t know how lawyers can fit into their decision-making processes,” he notes.

There’s much more in the article.

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