All contracts in the music business require some degree of legal negotiation and specialist music lawyers are the suppliers who will do this for you.
Lawyers have to generate their own business and are therefore constantly talking to other parts of the music business e.g. A&R, managers and PR’s.
A good music lawyer will help you to reach your target companies and help ‘broker’ these business relationships with partners. They will help set the terms and conditions.
They will also know the prevailing market conditions for ‘deals’ and be able to advise what is reasonable in the circumstances. Record labels for example have certain things they will negotiate on but not others. Each deal is different but there will be precedent and procedure in terms of business affairs.
Some lawyers will work for a new act at a subsidised rate or even offer advice for free in the early stages and they have to ‘speculate’ like everyone else.
If you are not sure then ask what they charge – be wary if they are reluctant to discuss costs
There are law firms and lawyers who now act as ‘quasi- managers’ and take on roles above and beyond those usually expected. Make sure you have made a clear decision on what you actually want your lawyer to do and what the implications are in terms of cost.
The Law Society - http://www.lawsociety.org.uk have lists of ‘entertainment’ solicitors
The MU - http://www.musiciansunion.org.uk have solicitors that offer advice to members
The MMF - http://www.musicmanagersforum.co.uk/ do this service also
Music Lawyers are listed in:-
For more on legal aspects of music business read:-
Music The Business: The Essential Guide To The Law And The Deals - Ann Harrison
All You Need to Know About The Music Business – Donald Passman