Legal Lifesavers

Legal Lifesaver
- definition -
"a concise piece of legal information that might save your assets."


Murray Gottheil is a senior member of Pallett Valo LLP's Business Law Practice and Family Business Law Group.



I was out for lunch with a client recently and I mentioned a legal point that was relevant to his business. He replied, "Now that was worth taking the time for lunch." That got me thinking – what about all of the points that my clients who don't always have time for lunch with a lawyer should know?

We all need information, but often we get so many lengthy newsletters from various professionals that we simply end up deleting them unread because they take too much time to read for too little value.

The purpose of this bulletin is different – to provide you with very brief pieces of information that might make a difference to your business.

With no further ado – here are your first two Legal Lifesavers.

The New Year Brings a Unique Chance to Change the Rules of the Employment Game

Did you ever wish that you could change the terms of your deal with your employees? Perhaps you would like to add a non-solicitation clause, confirm that the employer has the right to change the employee's job responsibilities, or provide that the employer owns intellectual property developed by the employee that relates to the employer's business, even if it was developed during the employee's own time.

Employment lawyers will tell you that it is very difficult to impose new employment terms on employees once you have hired them.

However, there is an exception to this rule. You can impose new employment terms on employees when you make those terms part of a package that includes a salary increase or expanded benefits. So, if you are making changes which benefit your employees as part of an annual salary review, it is the perfect time to obtain the changes that benefit you as well.

Think About Your Bank When Negotiating Your Lease

Banks financing a borrower operating from leased premises typically ask for a waiver from the borrower's landlord of certain rights under the borrower's lease. Landlords typically either refuse to give the waiver, resulting in a reduction of the credit available from the bank, or negotiate the terms of the waiver, driving up legal costs for the borrower, who will usually pay the legal fees for three sets of lawyers – the borrower's, the bank's and the landlord's.

Although very few borrowers do it, the best time for you to deal with this issue is when you sign or renew your lease. When the landlord wants your signature, ask the Landlord to agree to provide a waiver to your bank on reasonable terms whenever you are putting new credit arrangements in place.

All the best,
Murray Gottheil
Pallett Valo LLP


"Never fear shadows. They simply mean there is a light shining somewhere nearby."

Ruth E. Renkel

Photo by Maureen McKay