Choosing a lawyer, choosing an accountant

Choosing a lawyer, choosing an accountant.

As a business manager or owner, one of the toughest things when setting up a business in Australia or New Zealand is choosing a lawyer, choosing an accountant to look after your needs. You may be in Europe or Africa, The Middle East, Asia or the Americas – and you need to be certain that the lawyer and the accountant you choose understands you personally and what you are looking to achieve. Their will be strucural issues to consider, tax issues, repatriation issues and employment issues – with red tape and all sorts of other day to day items that are likely to be different from the way things are done at home. More than anything, you want to be able to hit the ground running (or have some locals get things in order for you in advance) – and that means you need someone to do the hard work for you in terms of selection.

MSI Global Alliance (MSI) was set up to help business people in making those choices by identifying and selecting strong local law firms and strong local accounting firms as members. In fact, MSI was set up explicitly to help businesses connect with professionals who have been vouched for by other professionals and their clients. That was in 1990 and, since that time MSI has grown to more than 200 firms in more than 100 countries, with all members having been selected on an ever more stringent basis. That stringency is designed to give international businesses and individuals the confidence to brief MSI member firms on the work that is needed.

One of the major differences between MSI Global Alliance and other lawyer or accounting groups is that both disscplines are covered by the membership. That ensures that both legal and accounting and tax issues can be dealt with together, with the MSI professional service providers already used to working together.

All MSI members are upfront about the vetting processes and take a certain amount of pride in the fact that they have met the requirements of the MSI Global Secretariat team in London. A great example of this is McKinley Plowman, our Perth Western Australia accounting member firm, which makes some very clear statements about the ‘unashamedly rigorous’ selection process they and all other firms have gone through.

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