What is a Legal Roadmap and When Is It Appropriate?
In a situation when Clients need to solve a complex legal issue, the first thing they think about is consultation, because sometimes they don’t know where to start. First of all, this concerns complex situations, which require passing through certain stages and knowledge of subtle aspects.
Lawyers usually consider such consultations as more complicated, requiring more time for analysis and having a lot of options for solution. They are often referred to as “Roadmaps”.
Today, using the examples of the most interesting cases from our practice, we will tell you what it is and why it is the best option for solving complex legal issues.
When is it worth thinking about ordering a “Roadmap”?
“Roadmap” is a written step-by-step instruction (legal opinion), which shows how best to act in a certain situation, or how best to achieve the Client’s goal. This type of consultation is needed when the task itself is extremely complex and requires more time for the lawyer to analyze the Client's specific situation and work out an individual solution.
Let’s say you want to engage in business activity in Ukraine that is rare or complicated in registration, for example, processing of hazardous wastes. In this case you need a detailed instruction on the steps and their cost. Any of these steps can stop the process of obtaining a license forever (for example, if you can not pass the environmental examination) or make the process more expensive. You need to calculate everything in advance - that's what the Roadmap is all about.
As part of this type of consultation, the lawyer enhances the overall scheme to suit your needs. Then he analyzes the legal regulations, existing practice, and provides you with a written document containing:
- Analysis of your situation;
- An algorithm of actions that will lead to the desired result;
- Assessment of the risks, if any;
- Proposals for alternatives (for example, the lawyer concluded that your problem could be solved very differently);
- Prices — we will tell you how much it will cost to solve your problem and what options you may use.
“Roadmap” is a solution for complicated legal situations and business start-ups. With such an examination of your question you will be able to decide how to proceed, because the answers to your questions will be available to you. It allows you to anticipate all actions and their results in advance.
A “Roadmap” can also answer the following questions: “Is it possible to implement my project?” or “Is it possible to solve my problem integrally?” The Roadmap in this case differs from the usual consultation by a deep analysis, a surgical examination of the problem down to the smallest detail.
We can also offer you further support in solving your issue, but the Roadmap is a separate product — a step-by-step guide for solving your issue.
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How do our lawyers develop the Roadmap?
When preparing the Roadmap, our lawyers:
- Thoroughly study the issues (problem) of the Client and its problematics;
- Deal with it theoretically (by studying the legislative base, judicial practice) and practically (relying on their own experience and the experience of their colleagues and partners, receiving individual advice from government agencies);
- Develop the structure of the “Roadmap” to make it easier for the Client to perceive complex and voluminous information;
- Select the best solution based on cost benefit, urgency and efficiency;
- Divide the “Roadmap” into stages;
- If possible, select alternative solutions (for a comprehensive and thorough analysis and completeness of the study of this issue);
- Calculate the possible costs for solving the issue and the timing of obtaining the necessary documents/permits/licenses, etc;
- Make a summary of the “Roadmap”, justifying the choice of the most appropriate and acceptable option to address the issue (problem) for the Client.
What makes us confident in the benefits of the Roadmap for the Client?
One often hears a hard-hitting verdict from lawyers about a difficult task — task is impossible. We never make such statements baselessly and definitively. Before we conclude, our experts take apart the task in the smallest detail in order to find options and possibilities for its solution. This is actually part of the service of creating a Roadmap.
If we come to the conclusion that there is no legal solution, you can be 100% sure that this is the case. Save money on the “experts”, assuring that nothing is impossible for them.
However, we do not leave our Clients in hopeless situations. If this or that option is really not feasible, we will do our best to offer a Plan B and alternative options for solving your issue.
What do our Clients get as a result?
Our Clients receive step-by-step instructions or answers to their questions in a clear and understandable form. They will get the whole picture and the algorithm of the solution of their issue, reflected on paper and sealed with a signature of the lawyer.
With a transparent, detailed analysis of the problem and a step-by-step solution, you can choose which part of the project you want to implement yourself, and which you would like to entrust to professionals.
Examples of how the Road Map works in practice in today’s realities
Case 1: Import and distribution of dietary supplements in Ukraine.
We were contacted by a Client, who wanted to get legal advice regarding the import and sale of dietary supplements in Ukraine from a foreign manufacturer. When preparing the “Roadmap”, the lawyers provided detailed answers to the following questions of the Client:
- What are dietary supplements and how do they differ from medicines and food supplements?
- What types of dietary supplements (with which ingredient) fall under the concept of “newest food product” and how do they differ from conventional food products or ingredients?
- How to choose the right composition of dietary supplements so that they do not need to be registered with the Ministry of Health as “the newest food product”?
- Do I need a license to sell dietary supplements?
- Are dietary supplements subject to registration with the Ministry of Health, and if so, which ones?
Depending on the answers to the questions and the lawyer's opinion on the possibility of starting the Client’s business, we could choose the legal form, types of activities, taxation system and other components of the start of activities, or to develop other ways of achieving the Client’s goal.
In the process of developing the “Roadmap” there were a number of other important questions for the Client's plans, to which we have prepared answers:
- How can I legally trade in dietary supplements? Is it possible to sell dietary supplements in regular stores or online? Are there any requirements for the premises and staff qualifications?
- What kind of authorization documentation must I obtain for dietary supplements?
- Should I get documents from the manufacturer of dietary supplements confirming the quality of their product, and what kind of documents?
- What are the requirements for the labels of dietary supplements? What should be noted on the label? What is better to avoid on the label?
- Can dietary supplements be sent by international mail and what are the special rules?
- How is trade in dietary supplements controlled in Ukraine?
Having received a ready-made instruction, the “Roadmap”, with a little assistance from our lawyers, the Client managed to successfully start the desired business.
The conclusions made by the lawyers showed that starting such a business is not difficult, if you have such a step-by-step instruction as the “Roadmap”, and a detailed analysis of the market regulating rules. The main requirement for authorization documentation is a comprehensive list of documents, which must be obtained from the foreign manufacturer of the dietary supplements. The dietary supplements the Client intended to import in were not medicines, and accordingly, they were not subject to licensing, and could be sold even online.
Case 2: Extraction of petroleum in Ukraine
We were contacted by a Client who wanted to legally organize oil product waste extraction activities and obtain a rather complicated set of permits.
Since such activities are rare and carry a potential risk to the environment, it is almost impossible to obtain permits without qualified assistance. Moreover, it is necessary to clearly understand what kind of authorization documents are needed, as there are several possible ways of solving the problem.
The lawyers were faced with the task of developing a consistent algorithm of actions, with an analysis of the possible risks and financial costs necessary to extract waste fuel oil, diesel fuel and oil from the storage of artificial origin, located near the border with Romania, to ensure production and sales within the current legislation of Ukraine.
The Client considered 3 possible options of legal protection of extraction activities:
- Obtaining an Extraction License;
- Obtaining a Hazardous Waste Management License;
- Connection to the extraction process of the existing licensee under a Hazardous Waste Management License.
The Client wanted our expert opinion on each option in order to choose the one that suited him best. We analyzed all options during the development of the Roadmap to achieve the Client’s goal.
The first option: Obtaining an Extraction License.
We have consistently outlined the entire procedure for obtaining the license, which consisted of 11 steps. Each stage was described separately, indicating the timeframe for its implementation. As a result, it was immediately visible the possible risks and difficulties of obtaining such a license. The implementation of such a project in practice was extremely difficult and required huge investments.
This option is reasonable to consider only if the extraction is planned for a long time and/or if the extraction license is required by the local authorities.
The second option: Obtaining a a Hazardous Waste Management License.
The procedure for obtaining a Hazardous Waste Management License takes about one year. The service price is about 2.5 million hryvnia, including official fees for research institution services, without the cost of purchasing/leasing land, premises and equipment.
The second option also didn’t suit the Client, but it was much cheaper than the first one and provided a certain guarantee of protection against risks.
The third option: Connection to the extraction process of the existing licensee under a Hazardous Waste Management License.
This option involves establishing a relationship with a company that already has a Hazardous Waste Management License, and will agree to work as partners.
There is a certain algorithm of actions, which allows our Client to conclude a Waste Disposal Agreement with a company that has a license for this type of activity. Thus, the licensee company would receive funds for the nominal collection, transportation and disposal of waste, would have Work Contracts with our Client and an Equipment Rental Agreement with the client company, and would have waste disposal certificates, with the receipt of recycled fuel oil (or other) in the amount necessary to fulfill the terms of the agreement with our Client.
Our Client’s company would receive recycled from the licensee company oils in the form of recycled fuel oil as a commodity on its balance sheet, and could sell it on behalf of the company (no license is required to sell the commodity in the form of recycled fuel oil).
However, this option requires you to be confident in the reliability of the relationship with such a company and protect your interests by entering into an agreement.
Our company offered to check the licensee’s company and to provide legal support for the conclusion of all necessary transactions needed to put the third option in action.
Do you want to get a unique and optimal solution to your legal problem? Don’t hesitate to contact us! We will help you not only to find an answer to your questions, but to execute your plan.
Please contact our specialists for the cost of your “Roadmap”, learn more here.
Full description of the Roadmap procedure.