Charlie Hallowell learned the hard way that a lawyer comes in handy in the restaurant business. The East Bay chef, an alumnus of Berkeley, Calif.’s Chez Panisse, opened Pizzaiolo in Oakland five years ago. He was 28. It was his first business, and he negotiated with investors and landlords without a lawyer by his side. Looking back, he says, it cost him.

“I could be making another $25,000 a year if I’d had a really good lawyer negotiating that lease for me,” Hallowell said. “The landlords are making by far the most money at Pizzaiolo.”

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