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Knowledge Hub | Articles

26 May 2015

Expect the unexpected in business

With the UK economy recovering, Matthew Brandis, partner in the dispute resolution practice, examines how partnering with a trusted law firm can help companies prepare for growth by mitigating risk throughout the business lifecycle. It’s all about avoiding the travails of the unexpected.

Oscar Wilde once claimed that “to expect the unexpected shows a thoroughly modern intellect”. Well, as businesses prepare for growth, it’s perhaps time for some modern thinking.

The business lifecycle encompasses numerous legal challenges – some of them predictable, some unexpected. But failing to prepare for, or protect against, the unexpected can have damaging repercussions and knock even the best growth plans way off course.

Poor legal protection can be costly to business continuity, productivity and, ultimately, profitability. Yet despite this, many companies remain inadequately protected and pay insufficient attention to key aspects such as shareholder arrangements, standard terms and conditions and environmental obligations.

Moreover, the continued reliance on outdated processes, policies and documentation will almost certainly leave some vulnerable to risks that could damage competitiveness and hinder growth.

However, with a little forethought, companies can do much to safeguard themselves against the unwelcome or the apparently unexpected. Businesses that routinely assess and proactively identify the challenges they may encounter, will ultimately be well placed to grow through the recovery and beyond.

The changing landscape

There’s no doubt time and technology have changed the business landscape irretrievably and the ramifications for commercial law have been far-reaching. Today’s businesses demand operational flexibility – with implications for aspects as diverse as employment, supply chain relationships, customer loyalty, bank loans, leases and contracts. At the same time, regulation around all types of discrimination has been strengthened significantly.

The legal profession has changed too. Our relationship approach is based on trusted partnership, anticipating our clients’ needs and matching them with appropriate services at competitive prices – right across the business lifecycle.

This approach is ideally suited to the dynamic modern business environment and an ongoing relationship can help businesses respond to changing circumstances in a timely fashion as they move along the maturity curve.

Potential risks

Risks exist across all stages of a business, but the most common challenges remain in traditional areas such as shareholder or partnership agreements, employment or commercial contracts and property leases.

At the same time, day-to-day challenges such as debt management, disaster recovery, brand protection and anti-bribery policies all require robust processes and up-to-date documentation to protect against the unexpected. Further, as business channels and practices evolve, issues such as social media policy, online contracts and third party supplier agreements will routinely require due attention.

Be prepared

In a post-recession business, proactivity is critical. The most effective companies will be those that are aware of the challenges and ensure they are well-placed to protect themselves against the dynamics of a changing marketplace.

Having a strong legal partner is part of that success story and the best partnerships will begin with a comprehensive review of companies’ existing position and an assessment of whether current operations are both fit for purpose and future proof.

As the economy recovers, the need for that legal health check is more immediate and, to take Oscar Wilde’s advice – it’s time to not only expect the unexpected, but prepare for it too.

Reap the benefits of a business health check

Understanding the legal requirements for your business and regularly reviewing your current business operations will help minimise risk and maximise opportunities.

Our corporate lawyers are happy to visit you, at no charge, to explain more about their trusted adviser role and learn more about the legal needs of your business, whilst identifying any potential risks through a business health check assessment.

This overview of operational and strategic issues will help you consider what challenges you face and identify the risks that you need to minimise within your business.

To arrange a meeting call 01753 279022 or email your enquiry to disputes@bpcollins.co.uk

Stay in touch

Phone: +44 (0) 1753 889995

Email: enquiries@bpcollins.co.uk

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