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What role does a lawyer play in a transaction?

A lawyer’s primary role in a dental practice transition is to protect their client’s interest, whether as the buyer or seller. Most importantly, its important for a lawyer to ensure that the language in purchase documents actually match the spirit and intention of the deal. No one ever expects that a transition will lead to litigation, but if one party misrepresents key facts, or fails to fulfill a responsibility, it can create problems post-closing.

A lawyer should also be the leader of the transaction to ensure that it moves efficiently and without interruption. A typical transaction involves at least 5 parties – the buyer, the seller, a practice broker, a lender, a practice consultant. Sometimes, it involves more than that. Each of these parties have multiple things occurring at once and while deadlines are flexible in general, lending puts the most pressure on a deal closing due to interest rate locks.

A lawyer should also be a mediator. At times, hard conversations have to occur. Whether it be about the structure of the deal, the transition period, post-closing obligations, or otherwise. A lawyer can step in to help find middle ground or the lawyer can be the “bad guy” that the client needs to use to explain a position or proposal to the other party.