When should you hire a lawyer for your ICO? Obviously a lawyer will say that you should do this right away and put down your retainer.
The truth is that what you need to do is read up about token sales and the legal implications around the difference between a security and a utility token.
The main function around your lawyer is helping you with structuring of your legal entities and ensuring you are using the correct legal entities in the proper jurisdictions.
You will also need to make sure all your marketing material, white paper, legal contracts and preico sale contracts are also inline with the legal jurisdiction etc. are going to be good enough to keep you out of trouble.
In terms of cost of appointing lawyers there is usually an upfront cost and a project fee based on a fee plus tokens for doing your ICO successfully. Even if you do negotiate a deal with a lawyers for only payment in tokens there is still costs around setting up structures and entities which has real costs to external entities.
With this in mind make sure you have enough funding for the legal structures and resources to do your legal work and don’t rely purely on your tokens as a way to get through to your ICO.