I regularly come across practices that have landed themselves in hot water with what they thought was a simple straightforward agreement.

It continues to be the simple things that get people into legal trouble.

This 11 point plan should help you stay on the straight and narrow, whilst maximising the most of your practice:

1. Put EVERYTHING and I mean EVERYTHING in writing. Don’t take shortcuts.

2. Ensure that when everyone else makes notes they are clear and easy for everyone to understand.

3. In the same vein, ensure everything you detail makes sense to all.

4. If you are in a partnership it is vitally important that an agreement is drafted and signed by all.

5. When it comes to partnership agreements, work backwards. The most important area is what happens if the partnership dissolves.

6. Whatever your strategy/plan is, share it with your partner(s) and of course put it into the agreement. EVERYTHING in writing.

7. I recommend having a guarantee, but be careful what you guarantee.

8. A trust does not provide the protection of a company.

9. Legal documents must always be fair; you never know when the table could turn.

10. Make sure you are happy with the financial aspect of the partnership agreement. Most disputes are money related.

11. When drafting a partnership agreement consider how relevant the document will be over time.