We provide a wide range of expert corporate and compliance advice whether you are a director of an established business, a start-up or an incoming foreign business. Our experienced team is forward thinking and delivers sound, commercially focused, legal advice that you can depend on.
The unexpected can always present challenges but a little forethought could make all the difference. Understanding the legal requirements for your business and regularly reviewing your current operations will help ensure the best outcome.
Our knowledgeable lawyers are client focused and advise on a practical approach that helps to minimise risk and maximise opportunities. We combine strong technical understanding of corporate compliance matters with thorough analysis of legal issues and potential risks to help you navigate these complex areas.
Operation of businesses / duties / corporate governance
Our team regularly advises clients on a variety of aspects relating to the operation of businesses, legal obligations and corporate governance. We know that company law can be complex so whether you are a director or shareholder, we appreciate the need for practical advice that can help you understand your rights and duties and decide on the best course of action.
As a director, you are responsible for the day-to-day management of the company and must act in accordance with your director’s duties. These include acting in the best interests of the company, avoiding conflicts of interest and accepting benefits from third parties. If you are unsure of a proposed arrangement, our team will be able to advise you on the best way forward and provide you with pragmatic solutions.
If your company has changed its operations or you are looking to bring in new directors or shareholders, our team is also able to review your company documents (such as the articles of association and shareholders’ agreement) and suggest any changes that could be made. These constitutional documents govern the way your business runs and so it is important that they are fit for purpose.
For many company decisions, there are strict formal procedures (usually set out in the Companies Act 2006) that need to be complied with such as: making filings at Companies House, keeping internal records including minutes of board meetings and general meetings, passing director and shareholder resolutions and/or ensuring that certain documents have been prepared. If these procedures have not been followed, this could result in fines for the company and the directors as well as requiring the company to take steps to correct any mistakes.
We can assist with a variety of matters:
- Appointment or removal of directors, secretary and auditors
- Name changes
- Re-registrations as public or private companies
- Transactions with directors
- Transfers of shares
- Creation of new classes of share (such as preference shares and redeemable shares)
- Re-designation of shares
- Increases, allotments and issues of shares
- Reductions in share capital
- Company purchases of own shares (buy-back of shares)
- Distributions (including dividends)
- Amendments and variations to share rights (including share options and drag along / tag along rights)
- Dissolution and striking off
Advice to incoming foreign businesses
If you are an overseas business looking to establish a UK operation, our team would be delighted to help you. We have experience in providing legal advice to foreign businesses and we will be able to support you throughout the process.We work closely with the employment and commercial property teams at our firm to ensure you are aware of the key requirements and to guide you through the process of overseas branch registrations.Our corporate lawyers will be able to explain important areas such as business structure and operation of UK companies so that you are able to benefit from the advantages of doing business in the UK.
Whether you are contemplating the sale of your business, exit and succession planning, aiming to increase efficiency or protect your business, you may consider corporate and company restructuring. Our corporate and commercial team will work with you to understand your objectives and tailor a solution for your needs.By reviewing staff contracts, leases and licences of premises, supplier and customer contracts and any funding and security arrangements currently in place, we will provide recommendations that meet your goals. Our team will also work closely with the employment and commercial property teams at our firm to provide you with specialist advice in these key areas.It is important to have a strategy when restructuring your company or corporate group and our team will formulate a clear plan to ensure the process is as smooth as possible.
Capital restructuring and insolvency
Whilst a business may be well managed, we appreciate that unavoidable or unexpected events could arise and cause challenges. We understand this can be a stressful time and our experienced team will work closely with you to provide the necessary support and deliver practical solutions for your business.There may be occasions when businesses are over-burdened with debt, struggling to cope with liabilities or challenged by difficult debtors and creditors. There are also occasions where the market provides a good commercial rationale for refinancing your existing capital and debt.Invariably there is a positive solution and we work in tandem with skilled business recovery specialists to help directors and shareholders plan strategies to manage their risks, including introducing you to new sources of finance, advising on debt restructuring, and navigating legal issues around complex refinancing. Whether the solution includes a share buy-back, reduction of capital, company voluntary arrangement, administration or other mechanism, our team has the expertise to ensure your plans are successfully implemented.In addition, if you are an insolvency practitioner and would like to work with experienced lawyers who understand what you are seeking to achieve in a very limited timescale, talk to our corporate team about how we can help.
Businesses face a constantly evolving regulatory landscape. Our expert corporate and commercial lawyers can help you consider what challenges you face, identify the risks that you need to minimise within your business and inform you of potential changes so that you can stay compliant.[If you own or manage a thriving business, our respected legal teams can help to secure and enhance the value of your business with a Legal Health Check Assessment. Our lawyers are happy to visit you,at no charge, to explain their trusted advisor role and learn more about the legal needs of your business, whilst looking at operational and strategic issues to identify any potential risks.]Our team has particular expertise in laws on bribery, data protection, environment and waste management. Environmental law in particular has become increasingly important over recent years as the volume of environmental legislation has grown considerably. All businesses, from start-ups to SMEs and large multinational businesses have legal environmental obligations that they must meet. Our cross practice environment team advise clients on this fast-paced area of law and how it can impact on their business activities.Another key area that is growing in prominence is marketing and advertising. Regulators are becoming especially more vigilant in environmental advertising and it could be helpful to seek legal advice when you are planning an advertising campaign to ensure compliance with the rules and regulations. We can explain the current law in this area and provide tailored and practical recommendations so that you can minimise the potential harmful effects to your reputation.
Company secretarial services
We offer a range of company secretary services for a fixed annual fee depending on your needs.Our company secretarial services include:
- Acting as a company’s registered office
- Being appointed as a company secretary
- Assisting with Companies House filings such as a company’s confirmation statement
- Updating the company’s statutory registers (Register of Members, Register of Applications and Allotments, Register of Persons with Significant Control (PSC), Register of Share Transfers, Register of Director Residential Addresses and Register of Directors and Secretaries)
We are also able to review Companies House to identify any potential defects or irregularities if a company has already made their own filings and rectify these if there are any issues. If the company’s statutory books need to be updated, we can also help with reconstituting these.