The management of assets can befraught with complications. We help ourclients by drafting and negotiating technical and commercial managementagreements to safeguard the process and advise on all related contractual arrangements.
Our strong finance and corporate teams are well adept to working with clients on all aspects of the sale, purchase and financing of private and business assets. We have particular expertise in the aviation and shipping sectors (both in the commercial and private sphere), rail and equipment.
With a wealth of experience working with clients in the asset finance sector, we understand the importance of consumer credit to both businesses and financiers. We regularly draft regulated and unregulated arrangements and related security for both.
Finance documentation is often full of legal jargon. We are fully aware of the frustrations felt by our clients in this area and work closely with businesses and financiers on the drafting of all types of contractual arrangements for both new build and existing assets. We are also on hand to deal with any contractual enforcement advice if required.
Insurance and insurance related security is paramount to any business. Our asset finance team has a wealth of experience in guiding clients through the plethora of legalities surrounding insurance-related issues and regularly advises on undertakings, compliance, covenants, direct agreements, brokerage, underwriting and all other insurance-related matters.
The drafting of arrangements that relate and often dictate the relationship between different classes of creditors can be complicated. We work in tandem with our clients to ensure that the drafting of inter-creditor and ranking arrangements best suit their needs and take care of all aspects including formation, registration, deed of priorities, subordinated security, ranking enforcement and release.
Whether an agency is looking for an advertising agency agreement drafted between itself and a client or input vis-à-vis comparative advertising, product placement, sponsorship and merchandising; or a trader seeking guidance on digital and direct marketing, advertising to children or using ‘green claims’ for environmental adverts we work hand in hand with our clients to provide expert advice in relation to the plethora of legal requirements in relation to their work.
With an acute understanding of the differences between the roles of the agent and the distributor, we have vast experience in drafting both agency and distributor agreements. We guide our clients through issues such as ‘sole’, ‘exclusive’ and ‘non-exclusive’ arrangements where necessary; and work closely with them to understand their business needs in order to advise them on associated competition law implications and the relative merits and/ or disadvantages of appointing an agent or distributor to increase sales.
The introduction of the Bribery Act 2010 has seen an increased number of businesses and individuals investigated and sometimes prosecuted in relation to issues of bribery. We work closely with organisations to ensure that they do not fall foul to an investigation by helping to implement adequate procedures in to their businesses. Our team of experts are also highly experienced in successfully advising clients, both businesses and individuals, who have been the subject of such investigations.
We work closely with our clients and ensure to understand their individual business needs. Equipped with this understanding we are placed in a strong position to guide and advise them through the drafting of collaboration agreements when they choose to work with another party on a commercial project.
Our team of diligent experts works closely with clients to fully grasp their business plans. We have significant experience in reviewing and auditing both existing and prospective contracts in order to identify any omissions and areas of legal concerns. We take on projects on a one-off basis where clients require specific agreements or clauses to be looked at, and others where the due diligence may be part of a more comprehensive contractual overhaul prior to the likes of an acquisition or sale.
Certain businesses require third parties or employees for the introduction of new clients and/ or contacts. We work with a number of these types of organisations and work with them to draft and negotiate agreements to ensure that all parties involved understand the terms of returns in relation to any introduction made.
Confidentiality is a key issue for our clients but there are very few relationships that impose automatic duties to respect it. We advise our clients on how best to protect themselves and their businesses, and draft confidentiality and non-disclosure agreements to best safeguard their information.
When a business engages the services of a freelance/ self-employed person to undertake some work it is imperative that the correct contracts are in place. We work with businesses to draft and negotiate contracts that protect our clients’ key assets including their intellectual property. We are also on hand to enforce any terms that may have been breached such as any confidentiality obligations and restrictive covenants.
The introduction of the Consumer Rights Act 2015 overhauled the rights held by consumers over traders. Our team is capable of assisting traders and consumers alike to guide them through the new rights and advise them on potential remedies for defective goods and services. We are also on hand to advise on digital content and contract forms that may be presented as being misleading.
With a deep understanding of the Data Protection Act 1998 which governs the collection and use of personal data in the UK, we regularly guide organisations that hold individuals’ data through their compliance obligations to ensure that they avoid any criminal or civil liability; including privacy and data protection policies and the transfer of personal data overseas.
Our team of experts regularly draft and negotiate agreements for the hire and leasing of all types of equipment. These agreements often feature optional provisions allowing the lessee to have the right to purchase the equipment under a hire purchase arrangement.
We have considerable experience in drafting event management agreements that record and legally bind the project management of large scale events, including festivals, concerts, conventions and sporting events.
We are acutely aware of the importance of intellectual property protection. We work closely with our clients to ensure that their technical know-how is safeguarded when another party is brought in to the mix.
Every industry is different and some clients in certain industries require ongoing services to be provided. We understand these needs and work with these clients to produce comprehensive contracts that agree the general legal framework and key provisions for all future work between parties and individually tailor these so that the exact nature and scope of services provided/ received and pricing structures may differ from project to project.
We understand the complexities of the franchising business. With vast experience advising both franchisors and franchisees, we advise on all aspects of the franchising process from guiding our clients through the key legal and commercial considerations in the process of both setting up and operating a franchise in the UK or overseas; the protection and enforcement of trade secrets, trade marks and other intellectual property rights; the preparation of franchise purchase agreements and standard franchise agreements; the negotiations of changes in ‘side-letters’; the formulation of detailed operating manuals to record business methods and trade secrets; right through to franchise disputes and the sale or transfer of the franchise.
Our commercially savvy lawyers are often called upon to review contracts prepared for a client by a third party in order to identify any areas of concern. With the clients’ best interests in mind they also regularly provide assistance on complex issues such as limitations, exclusions and caps of liability; variation, assignment and novation of contracts; retention of title; and any other matters that may arise.
We understand the importance of legal contracts to our clients and regularly prepare heads of terms/ memoranda of understanding contracts in anticipation of a more comprehensive formal legal document that contains more provisions. These contracts are usually non-binding but set out the general agreement in principal by the parties pending the full negotiation and drafting of the final contract.
Our experienced and commercial lawyers understand that businesses can often achieve more by working together. However, we also understand that these joint enterprises need very careful planning to ensure that both parties are satisfied with the outcome. We have considerable experience in forming numerous types of JVs including new corporate vehicles, partnerships and contract binding ventures. Or expertise range from advising all forms of JVs from setting them up and running them to selling them or winding them down.
We draft and negotiate agreements for the hire, leasing and maintenance of all types of assets from cars to computer equipment. Dependent on the needs of the individual client, we sometimes include optional provisions giving a lessee the right to purchase the equipment under a hire purchase arrangement for example.
The assets of our clients vary widely from data, software to equipment. We work closely with each of them to enable the preparation of licence documents to record the licencing that they individually require alongside expert know-how documents for the licensee.
Our experts understand the importance of insuring that the correct deliverables are in the right place at the right time. To help ensure our clients do not face any logistical problems we ensure that our agreements not only address the planning and implementation of the efficient flow and storage of goods, we also document the transport/ transfer and supply of services or data.
Whether our client is seeking to source or to supply goods in the UK or abroad, we are on hand to offer our services of drafting and negotiating manufacturing agreements, purchasing agreements and long-term supply agreements.
No matter the industry, when buying or selling assets, time is of the essence. We work in tandem with our clients in order to set up contracts such as option agreements to ensure that they have the best timescale to suit their individual needs.
The transfer of operational responsibility for a distinct business function or process to an external provider, though can come with benefits, can prove to be a legal minefield. We guide our clients through the contract process by not only designing contracts that deal with the transfer of assets and employees to the supplier but that also establish the correct service level requirements for the supplier. We are also adept to managing the exit if and when the arrangement comes to an end.
The drafting of a partnership agreement is crucial to the future of a business in order to avoid any disputes further down the line. We work closely with clients in drafting such agreements whether they are looking for a standard partnership agreement under the Partnership Act 1896 or looking to set up a limited liability partnership (LLP).
Whether our client is a company or an individual who is in the business or reselling goods that have been purchased from larger organisations to third parties via the internet or otherwise, we produce clear and bespoke contracts to suit their business needs; these can include contracts on a licensed basis or not, as a value added reseller agreement (VAR).
We tailor contracts for all business types to ensure that our clients’ business needs and property are protected as stringently as possible through their terms of business. We have vast experience in advising businesses operating in traditional or ecommerce settings on the drafting of these terms, whether in the form of standard and non-negotiable terms, or as individually-negotiated documents. All are bespoke and tailored to suit each individual clients’ requirements.
Our in depth construction sector knowledge allows us to effectively advise clients on how best to deal with any dispute. We are able to give timely advice on how best to prevent a dispute and the legal merits to enable clients to negotiate a commercial settlement. Failing these, our team has significant experience in successfully guiding clients through the plethora of other options available to them including mediation, adjudication, arbitration or litigation. We have substantial experience in representing clients in the courts, including at the Technology and Construction Court.
We understand that disputes can lead to expensive court fees; we work with a number of trusted providers of both before and after the event legal cover solutions and are ourselves open to both contingency and conditionally based fee arrangements.
Our data protection team understands that in some cases, individuals wish to see what personal information is held about them by a company or organisation – a right awarded to them through The Data Protection Act. We advise organisations on the necessary procedures involved in dealing with such requests.
Our experts fully appreciate the fact that as one of the leading users of CCTV, the UK has a record number of cameras on the streets which can raise a number of privacy legal issues. We assist organisation using CCTV, whether recording personal images or vehicle registration numbers, to comply with the legal requirements governing how these images are gathered, stored and used.
Most children are more competent when it comes to the use of the web and social media than their parents. And our team understands the safety and security issues that may bring for a family household. Few children are actually aware of how the information that they place online is used. Therefore, they are simply unable to make informed decisions as to how they share their data online. Our experts advise organisations on how best to comply with data protection obligations when providing on-line services including social media services used by youngsters.
Our team of highly skilled data protection experts work closely with organisations to help them develop compliant procedures for the collection, storing and processing of personal data. We regularly work closely with businesses to give guidance on the legal compliance duties placed upon them through the data protection laws and regulations including in relation to how they collect, store, use, disclose or transfer personal data and on how to manage regulatory enquiries and audits and claims from individuals.
Our lawyers are perfectly placed to guide clients through the plethora of duties placed upon them, under The Data Protection Act 1998 (the Act) which controls the use of ‘personal data’. We can advise on registration requirements of the UK Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) (the body tasked with enforcing the Act) and on other regulations under the Act, for example in relation to how personal data can be lawfully obtained, stored, disclosed and shared including transfers of personal data outside of the UK. We are also experienced in assisting organisations with their interactions with the ICO on all matters including development and approval of Binding Corporate Rules, ad-hoc data transfer agreements and on data subject complaints and any enforcement actions.
As the world of business becomes increasingly global, it's crucial that international law keeps up with the pace. Our data protection team is skilled at dealing with all matters, in relation to the European Union Directive which regulates the processing of personal data within the EEA. The Directive is an important component of EU privacy and human rights law and we ensure that our clients are equipped, in their knowledge, to deal with any issues that may arise. Even in a post-Brexit world many clients will need to ensure that they are complying with the relevant EU data protection legislation which will apply where they collect and process personal data of EEA individuals even if the collection, storing and processing of that personal data occurs in the UK.
The General Data Protection Regulation (‘GDPR’) comes into force in May 2018 and will replace the EU Directive. Whether or not Britain choses to implement the GDPR post-Brexit our privacy team will be keeping up to date with national developments in the UK and has a full understanding of the changes being implemented across the EEA by the GDPR. The team is well place to advise organisations that will be impacted by the GDPR (whether or not the UK adopts the new EU regulations) to ensure that they understand the changes in the EU regulation and whether or not they need to comply with the new regulations and, where they do, to help them to develop their compliance programs in preparation for the coming into force of the new regulations in Spring 2018.
With extensive experience in advising organisations in all areas involving human resources including transfers of employees on the sale or purchase of a business, our privacy team together with the experience of our employment team, is fully aware of the statutory obligations imposed on organisations in relation to collection, storage and use of employee data including transfers of such data to headquarters outside of the UK and outside of the EEA. Our team is also able to advise on disclosures of personal data as part of transferring employees in an acquisition scenario. We work closely with organisations to ensure compliance with both the data protection regulations and employment regulations and laws, and regularly assist clients in understanding what personal data of employees needs to be disclosed, when and what limitations there may be in making disclosures.
Many businesses routinely transfer data overseas, whether to another group company, to a third party for sub-processing or for other reasons. This process can be fraught with legal compliance issues as the UK Data Protection Act and the EU Data Protection Regulations do not allow the transfer of personal data outside of the EEA to countries that are not deemed by the EU Commission as affording the same safeguards for personal data as those under the EU Data Protection Directive. We are well placed to advise organisations of all sizes on legitimising these overseas transfers of personal data and on the requirements for on-ward transfer.
The value of personal data, collected by an organisation, can be hugely significant, as long as it has been collected in a legally compliant way. Whether such data can be used for future marketing activities, either by the business that collected it or by others, is often overlooked and can have negative connotations. The regulators, not only in the UK but globally, are cracking down on direct marketers who flout the law and we are seeing an increase in enforcement action and some huge fines levied against perpetrators. We regularly work with businesses to ensure that personal data is collected in a way that facilitates best practice in future marketing activities and advise on how to comply with direct marketing regulations so as to run legally compliant marketing campaigns.
We currently assist companies in reviewing their existing privacy notices and other relevant internal policies concerning personal data, and help them draft appropriate policies and notices to ensure that they will remain compliant. With the implementation of the new GDPR which replaces the current EU Directive on data processing, many organisations will need to update their privacy notices and policies and revamp their internal policies concerning collection and handling of personal data. The team is already working with organisations to assess current policies and procedures and to being the updating process and is well placed to guide both large and small organisations in this area.
The team is also experienced in providing training progammes for organisations that assist in bringing staff and management up to speed on their privacy rules and regulations.
The retention of communications data, in the UK, has long been recognised as a valuable measure. Our lawyers understand the importance of regulation, such as The Regulation of Investigatory Powers Order 2015 and the Retention of Communications Data (Code of Practice) Order 2015, and the Freedom of Information Act 2001, in regards to businesses concerned with providing telecommunications and other data services and government organisations providing public services and holding public data. We guide these businesses and government regulations through the miasma of their obligations on all retained data and requests for disclosure - working closely with them to ensure that they have appropriate policies and procedures in place relating to such retained data. We can also advise on the making of applications for access to such data and are on hand should any application be refused.
No matter the sector, we fully understand the potential challenges of negotiating executive appointments and exits. We work closely with employers and senior executives advising them on the statutory duties of Directors and we are always on hand to help resolve any boardroom or shareholder disputes should they arise.
Our dedicated team of employment lawyers are experts when it comes to employment rights and often guide through disciplinary, grievance and other internal proceedings. They are also on hand to provide training to managers to ensure that no claims are brought against them.
Every business is different. We work closely with our clients to draft tailored employment contracts to suit their individual needs and understand the importance of having adequate policies in place. Working hand in hand with our clients to fully grasp their business needs, we produce bespoke policies and handbooks for our clients on an individual basis.
Working closely with employers and individuals, we have considerable expertise in resolving workplace disputes through mediation, negotiating settlement agreements, through to representation on a full range of claims in the Employment Tribunal.
Passionate about equality and diversity, we work hand in hand with our clients to ensure that they fully understand and are compliant with the Equality Act 2010 in order to prevent any claims of discrimination.
Our team has particular expertise in dealing with clients in the financial services sector who are strictly regulated by the Financial Services Authority (FSA). We understand their specific needs and guide them through all employment related regulation by which they may be affected.
Unfortunately, employers sometimes face the task of needing to manage an employee whose performance and/ or absence record is not up to scratch. We work with these employers advising them through the process including ones that may involve an employee with a disability.
Change is an inevitability with most businesses. Our team is experienced in advising on all change management issues, and the redundancy process in both private and public sector organisations. They also have extensive expertise in dealing with redundancy situations relating to business transfers and changes in service provider under the TUPE regulations.
Confidentiality and the protection of a business’ intellectual property is paramount. We have considerable experience in advising clients on how to protect their businesses through the drafting and advising on the enforceability of restrictive covenants, confidentiality agreements and IP clauses. We have also helped guide our clients through enforcement proceedings in the High Court.
Our experienced team is on hand to offer commercial advice to employers and employees on the termination of employment. The team has considerable experience in dealing with all levels of staff from juniors to CEOs and are able to draft and negotiate settlements to suit every clients’ individual needs.
When a business changes owner, its employees may be protected under the Transfer of Undertakings (Protection of Employment) regulations (TUPE). We regularly work closely with clients guiding them through the plethora of regulations when TUPE may be applied for example when the business is being transferred to a new company.
Recently, the Government and regulators have been working together to ensure that whistleblowers are encouraged to speak out through a raft of incentives and the promise of protection. We work closely with clients to ensure that these provisions are met with and guide them through the regulations involved.
Our employment team regularly advises clients on the UK Working Time Regulations to ensure that their businesses comply with all regulations.
The introduction of the Bribery Act 2010 has seen an increased number of businesses and individuals investigated and sometimes prosecuted in relation to issues of bribery and corruption. We work closely with organisations to ensure that they do not fall foul to an investigation by helping to implement adequate procedures in to their businesses. Our team of experts are also highly experienced in successfully advising clients, both businesses and individuals, who have been the subject of such investigations.
Directors are subject to legally binding duties and can become the subject of an investigation and subsequent disqualification for a number of years if found guilty of falling foul of these, or following the insolvency of the company for which they are a Director. We understand the pressure on Directors and often advise them during an investigation in order to avoid any disqualification proceedings. We are also available to advise once proceedings are underway in order to prevent or minimise any period of disqualification.
Undergoing any disciplinary procedure is a stressful time for any individual and particularly for individuals working in heavily regulated sectors including financial and professional services. We have vast experience in acting for and guiding these individuals through the difficult process of being subject of an investigation by a regulatory body such as the FCA, ICAEW or the SRA.
The complexities surrounding the setting up and managing of an investment fund, from commercial, regulatory and tax perspectives, have increased dramatically over recent years. Our team guides clients through the full life cycle of a fund from the date of formation, any ongoing maintenance issues, and finally to distribution and closure. We can act for fund and discretionary investment managers, advisers, distributors, depositaries and custodians or investors.
With deep-rooted expertise of navigating through the various jurisdictions, regimes and applicable laws that global distribution of investment funds entails, our team of regulatory experts prides itself in working hand in hand with clients and their non-UK counsel to enable them to navigate these hurdles for the efficient and compliant distribution of investment funds both in the UK and globally. The team has a profound understanding of requirements under the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000, FCA and PRA rules.
We understand the importance of due diligence in any transaction and the complexities surrounding the constitutional documents of investment funds which can vary in their structure and drafting. Our experts provide counsel to clients and a bespoke due diligence service for individual investors, family offices, pension funds and other institutional investors across a range of fund types to including limited partnerships, JPUTS, open and closed ended funds and private equity co-investments.
Our asset management experts are aware of the continuous flow of acquisitions and mergers of regulated businesses in the industry. The team regularly advises both institutional clients and smaller managers on the integration of acquired entities into their groups, as well as the merger of their fund ranges post-acquisition. We work closely with our corporate law and tax law colleagues to ensure effective delivery of bespoke and tailored restructuring solutions.
Our licensing professionals understand the pressures on business developers to maximise their opportunities and secure the most flexible licences to help their business grow. In an increasingly difficult regulatory landscape the right practical and legal advice is essential and can be the difference between being profitable and not. Andrew, Gareth and Robert have many years’ experience in negotiating the difficulties and problems that can and do arise in setting up new ventures and in dealing with problems occurring during operation. They can advise on the best strategy to obtain the necessary licence with appropriate terms and conditions to maximise the lawful business opportunity.
Our team have worked with a number of businesses wishing to expand their operations into an outside space. We guide them through the application process to obtain a Pavement Licence or Street Trading Licence from the relevant local authority. These applications are not necessarily always straightforward with questions of ownership, planning and public convenience being considered, as well as additional considerations and licensing requirements for alcohol to be consumed in an outside area.
If your premises are affected or there are proposals to introduce an EMRO or late night levy in your area, we can assist in making representations and in ensuring your voice is heard by the committee concerned.
Our licensing professionals understand the problems that can arise in relation to licensed premises. We advise our clients to ensure that they remain compliant with the obligations dictated by authorities to ensure that their businesses are not left exposed to potential costly prosecution. It is our view that prevention is much more cost-effective than having to tackle problems that could have been avoided by having proper operational systems in place. We regularly provide both preventative advice as well as guidance in dealing with any enforcement actions by authorities.
Our licensing lawyers are experts in the legislation concerning both live and recorded music which is constantly changing and developing. We work with our clients to ensure that they are aware of any altering to the times, levels or events at which music can be played, so that they avoid any pitfalls or unforeseen issues.
Our experts understand that noise issues can be one of the most difficult problems that any licensed premises have to deal with. Noise issues can lead to a review of your licence, a reduction in hours, more onerous conditions and even revocation. In addition, if the local authority finds that a statutory nuisance has occurred, exists, or is likely to recur, it will serve an abatement notice requiring limitations to be placed on the hours the noise is occurring, or that the noise stops altogether. In addition, a growing area of difficulty for operators is in relation to nuisance caused by smell. Where possible we work with clients to prevent or limit issues arising. Where that is not possible or where problems have already occurred we will work with the client to address the problem, negotiate and, when appropriate, stand and fight against any unreasonable requests being made by neighbours or by the local authority officer. We work with clients to ensure that where an abatement notice has been issued steps are put in place to limit reputational or financial damage.
Our team help clients navigate the necessary steps towards obtaining a personal licence with minimum inconvenience and resistance. We can arrange for the necessary training to achieve the required qualification as part of the process of obtaining the personal licence. Where there are difficulties we can provide representation at a committee hearing.
These are never welcome. Our team of licensing lawyers work with clients to ensure that where possible they have the systems in place to help avoid a review or minimise the risk of reviews being brought. The team maintain strong links with the authorities to assist in negotiation and collaboration with the authorities. There are occasions when it is necessary to stand up to an authority if its requests are not proportionate. Our team can provide experienced advice as to when it is appropriate to stand and fight or seek a compromise.
Sometimes things happen which are beyond the control of operators and if that results in a summary review or closure order, that can put the business under severe pressure, both operationally and financially. At such times you need clear advice on the best strategy to secure the reopening of your business at the earliest time or the removal of unnecessary restrictive conditions to enable the premises to operate safely and in a commercially viable way. Our experienced legal team can provide that insight and wisdom to develop an effective strategy for both the short and long term. They can respond to the immense time pressure that the summary review or closure order procedure places on everyone in order to present the best case for you to the licence committee.
Indoor sports may require a licence, or large events may be held at large sports arenas. This can give rise to complications in relation to safety, crime and disorder, or public nuisance. Our lawyers can guide you through these complicated application processes and can provide detailed, tailored and bespoke advice to ensure that the particular licence required is obtained.
Festivals may take place anywhere. Each location is unique, bringing its own challenges through topography, neighbourhood and available facilities. Our team have experience in dealing with events from 1,000 to 50,000 capacity. It is important that you receive the right advice to assist you in planning for the event, in operating during the event and in reviewing your procedures after the event. Good working relationships are required with the many experts who will be feeding into your operations plan. Good relations need to be maintained not only with the authorities but with the residents close to the locality of the festival. We have a vast array of experience of attending residents meetings and pre-festival applications to alleviate residents’ concerns. Where that is not possible our expert team can, through their experience, work with you shoulder to shoulder in protecting your event.
TENs can be extremely useful tools in assisting in a wider licensing strategy or because the venue is not licensed or because conditions need to be avoided. Our team of experts offer guidance to small- and large-scale event organisers on how to apply for a TEN and thoroughly examine all considerations including what activities may be covered, time limits, who can apply and restrictions. Sometimes you may need to be creative to do what you want to do. Our team can be creative and help maximise the potential despite the limitations.
We are aware of the heavy regulation imposed on adult gaming centres and work hand in hand with clients to ensure that they have the correct licences to avoid any future litigation. We can assist with the obtaining of operator’s licences and premises licences. We also work with their counterparts in the manufacturing, supply, installation, adaptation, maintenance and repair industries to ensure that they too are compliant with the gaming machine technical operating licence.
We are aware of the many requirements imposed on the betting industry and we will work hand in hand with clients to ensure that they have the correct operator licences, whether remote or non-remote, to avoid any future problems. We can assist with the obtaining of operators’ licences and premises licences. We can also assist with the software requirements and licensing.
We understand that family entertainment centres are one of three types of amusement arcades and for these to run smoothly and efficiently, they must comply with industry regulation and hold the required permits. We work with a number of clients in this industry to ensure that all required legal procedures and documentation are in place.
Our team remain constantly abreast of the regulations imposed on businesses wishing to run certain games, lotteries and competitions by the Gambling Commission. We regularly advise on schemes and proposals as well as on how to obtain the correct licences and establishing which activities actually require a licence.
We work with street and market traders to ensure that they have acquired the necessary licences to operate as well as adhering to any guidelines.
We work with a number of establishments that offer massage and special treatments and help them obtain a licence from local authorities. The conditions imposed can be strict and may include sanitary requirements, evidence of sufficiently trained staff, implementation of proper fire precautions, and an acceptably low likelihood of nuisance. Our experienced licensing team guide clients not only through the process of obtaining the licence but also through fully understanding what is required from them.
Our lawyers are experts in acquiring the licences necessary to run venues offering sexual entertainment. These licences may contain particular conditions imposed by the local authority for all sex establishments in their borough. To avoid potential and challenging issues, we work closely with clients to help them interpret the licences correctly. Local authority policies are becoming more restrictive with more and more obstacles being placed in the way for operators obtaining and operating with such licences. We also work closely with operators to build working relationships with residents and amenity groups before, during and after consultation.
Should an application be refused, challenges can be limited and we are able to advise on the available appeal routes and best strategy for the challenging of the local authority’s decision.
Our team are experienced at all levels of challenge to decisions made by licensing authorities. We can provide guidance and advice in negotiating and discussing with the authority to reach an agreed position where possible. Sometimes that is not possible and then you will want a hard-hitting team to achieve the best result for you when dealing with authorities that are taking an aggressive and uncompromising stance.
In addition to the traditional avenue of appeal to the Magistrates’ Court, our legal team are in the best position to guide you through the complicated judicial review or case stated challenges to authority decisions.
We have experience in working with our clients to ensure that a pension scheme is properly closed to new members, future service accrual or completely wound up. The process of closing or winding up a scheme is a long process and we have the necessary expertise to advise on all aspects from ensuring the process is followed legally to giving notice, reviewing communications with employees, following the consultation process, through to preparing legal documents that give effect of the closure/ wind up and alerting the required authorities of the move.
We understand the importance of offering our extensive list of energy clients sound and practical legal advice. The ever-increasing profile of climate change and the rise of regulation designed to tackle it has put tremendous pressure on the energy industry. In light of this, we guide our clients through their obligations and assist them in all areas of climate change law including energy-efficient regimes, renewable energy, litigation and reporting and public scrutiny, from a local to an international level.
Our experienced regulatory, transactional and contentious environment lawyers advise both public and private-sector clients by guiding them through all matters encountered directly or indirectly by the niche area of contaminated land. Common issues that arise may include handling brownfield proposals, regulatory investigations and the selling and purchase of industrial and manufacturing sites.
The onus put upon companies to minimise pollution keeps rising. Our environmental team understands the costly and stressful implications to all parties when targets are not met. We help our clients to understand their liabilities and aid them in preventing and remedying any damage that may have occurred by advising on all areas including environmental liabilities insurance, regulation, compliance and environmental permitting issues.
Always ensuring the best possible outcome for clients, we combine expertise in dispute resolution with other techniques including ADR and mediation. Whether the claim in question relates to environmental nuisance, environmental damage, environmental warranties and indemnities or a wide-range of other potential areas of dispute, our team can be relied upon to provide accurate and effective advice.
Our team of environmental experts are perfectly positioned to advise clients on the niche and complex area of nature conservation. We understand the importance that this area plays in relation to many of our clients’ projects and therefore the need to advise on all restrictions and regulations that must be considered which often also involves the negotiating of management schemes and engaging with regulators.
Our lawyers understand and sympathise with the nuisance that noise can cause and the considerable tension that it can bring between businesses, authorities, groups and individuals in local communities. We offer discreet and tailored advice to our clients in relation to handling possible statutory nuisance proceedings.
Effective handling of investigations or prosecution by the Environment Agency is paramount for the efficient running and maintenance of a good reputation for pollution causing businesses. Throughout what can be a stressful process, we will be on hand to offer comprehensive support and advice.
Any form of litigation can be stressful and expensive. Our deeply experienced litigators possess expert knowledge of environmental statutes and regulations allowing them to effectively advise on contentious matters, avoiding potentially extensive financial and reputational damage.
Our team of experts understand the importance of recent legislation that has meant that environmental concerns and liabilities have become a key aspect to be considered when dealing with real estate transactions, company reorganisations and M&A deals. We have tremendous experience in carrying out the extensive due diligence necessary, alongside advising on all other issues including land contamination, regulation and insurance policies.
Our experts are fully aware of the mounting pressures put on clients to minimise landfill and pollution, waste management and waste management activities. We regularly guide our clients through the plethora of legal requirements in this area, including hazardous and nuclear waste, recycling and energy from waste products, environmental issues, new offtakes markets, regulation and compliance and real estate issues.
Our lawyers understand the headache that water and sewerage considerations can cause. The highly-regulated and sometimes difficult to navigate discharge regulations can pose various problems for business, including issues that have criminal consequences and strict liability. We advise clients on prevention methods in order to safeguard their reputation including the need for permits and the registration of exemptions.
When it comes to offering contentious trusts and probate advice, the Keystone team recognises that early stage involvement and quality advice can provide the keys to conflict avoidance. Wherever possible, our solicitors will utilise alternative dispute resolution (ADR) methods including negotiation and mediation. Should court proceedings be absolutely necessary, we ensure that they are conducted professionally and as cost-effectively as possible.
The appointment of a Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) is not always possible. In these circumstances, we work closely with the family to apply for the appointment of a Deputy to the Office of Public Guardian (OPG). These can be testing times for all involved and our experts deal with each individual case sensitively. We are also experienced in applying for various specific orders, and can advise clients on concerns that they may have, relating to the conduct of an LPA or Deputy. Should the situation arise in which an application is made by a third party to the OPG or Court, our lawyers are on hand to guide clients every step of the way.
We often advise those with assets or liabilities across a number of jurisdictions on how to best minimise future difficulties that may arise. Many of our clients reside in one country whilst posessing substantial assets in another. We can advise on the English legal implications that occur from cross-border probate, wills and capacity issues. We also liaise with overseas advisers, HMRC, and the Probate Registry to resolve what can be complex legal and tax issues both their lifetime and after death.
Dealing with the loss of a loved one is extremely difficult, particularly when paired with the added responsibility of handling the deceased's estate. Our solicitors can advise on whether a Grant of Probate or Letter of Administration is required, in order for assets to be collected and distributed - as stated by the deceased or intestacy rules. The team can also offer sophisticated tax advice to executors, next of kin and other beneficiaries, ensuring that costs are minimised and the estate is distributed as efficiently as possible.
In certain circumstances, an inheritance may be disputed and our team regularly advises clients on both sides of the table. We assist those wishing to make an Inheritance Family Provision claim, in relation to the merits of the claim and subsequently how to pursue it effectively. We are also adept to successfully representing executors or beneficiaries in relation to a claim filed against them.
Death is a difficult subject to broach. However, it is an eventuality and adequate inheritance tax planning is vital to ensure that assets are left to elected beneficiaries, in accordance witht the wishes of the deceased. We regularly advise clients, in estate planning, in relation to the preparation of wills and trusts and do so in a tailored way that suits the needs of each individual.
Appointing a Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) is an important life decision. Our team works closely with clients to ensure that they fully understand the extensive powers that are granted by an LPA. We can prepare and register Property and Financial Advice LPAs and Health and Welfare LPAs. Where an LPA is not possible or for various specific orders of the Court - for example for leave to make gifts, the team is skilled at dealing with applications to the Court of Protection for appointment of a Deputy. In addition, if you are concerned about the conduct of an attorney or deputy, or wish to contest an application to the OPG or the Court that someone else is making, the team is on hand to assist.
Our lawyers offer practical and tax advice in relation to the establishment of UK trusts, and we understand that trustees or beneficiaries will require ongoing legal and practical guidance. We provide assistance with any ongoing issues such as taxation, practical and management.
The preparation of a will can be simple or complex depending on the requirements of the client. We offer tailored advice to individuals wanting to prepare a will covering a single jurisdiction and to individuals with more complex arrangement needs which may cover issues such as domicile, estate planning and trusts. We are also experienced in liaising with overseas advisers where necessary to ensure that a will prepared in another jurisdiction fits seamlessly with one that has been prepared under English law.
Our team of residential property lawyers appreciate the time, effort and emotion involved in selling and buying property. We provide tailored and commercial advice in order to ensure that all transactions run as smoothly as possible for each individual client from start to completion. Our expertise spans from advising both on and off-shore individuals and investors, in the sale, purchase and financing of prime residential property. We also work closely with our colleagues to provide guidance in all areas of the transaction including tax, trusts, planning, employment, construction and any contentious issue that may arise.
There are a number of obstacles involved, in relation to agricultural land and landed estates matters. We can offer our clients tailored advice in terms of agricultural tenancies, as well as in the selling and purchasing of land particularly with large country houses. We are also able to assist with the legal issues that often arise in the running of a farm or landed estate - working closely with our private client and tax colleagues to ensure our clients have all bases covered.
Our team of experts is well adept to advising in all forms of buying or selling property, including when there may be a conditional contract in place. We have vast experience in acting for either the seller or the buyer where conditions are imposed and we work very closely with our clients to ensure that all of their requirements are met before final completion of any transaction.
Our residential team understands the complexities that come with owning a property including the extensive rights, responsibilities and obligations that are posed. We often advise and explain to our clients any potential implications which might arise and work closely with our contentious team, particularly to off-set a potential dispute. We also regularly draft and negotiate easements, covenants and reservations of rights where necessary.
The relationship between a landlord and tenant can be of mutual benefit but can, at times, encounter a number of problems. We have extensive knowledge and experience of all kinds of residential leases and tenancies, whether long or short and therefore understand the importance of drafting, advising and negotiating the terms of a lease or tenancy with an eye to minimise any potential issues for our client in the future. We also act and provide a bespoke service for both landlords and tenants from companies and trusts to on and off-shore individuals.
Whilst, long leaseholders in England and Wales havethe legal right to buy their landlord’s freehold interest outright thiscomplicated area of law is ever-changing and specialist legal advice shouldalways be obtained. Our team has extensive experience of actingfor landlords and tenants in this field and works closely with otherprofessionals, such as surveyors and valuers, to ensure that the best possibleoutcome is secured for the client.
The sheer variety of the team's clientbase enables us to proceed as efficiently as possible with a view to securing the drawdown of a mortgage advance - at the earliest opportunity. Businesses that we advise include a number of banks and building societies, institutional investors, and borrowers.
An option agreement can be a useful way of compelling a seller to sell a property, at the buyer’s behest, within a certain time frame. We understand that, in other circumstances, a client may require a pre-emption agreement for peace of mind and certainty for a future acquisition. And our experience extends to acting for either side, as well as to drafting and negotiating the terms of these agreements in accordance with the client’s particular needs at that time.
The purchase or disposal of a property is seldom an easy transaction. Our residential team of lawyers works closely with clients to guide them through the plethora of options available to them and advise on a number of different styles of agreements including overage and clawback agreements. Such agreements can be complicated and often involve extensive negotiation and drafting. But our team is dedicated to providing bespoke tailored advice for our clients be they on the seller or the buyer side.
Our residential team works closely with our excellent team of tax experts to ensure the best advice is given. Tax relating to residential property has been subject to extensive reform over recent years, particularly with regard to on and off-shore companies and individuals owning more than one property. Our dedicated team can advise on all aspects of tax relating to residential property, particularly in respect of SDLT, Annual Tax on Enveloped Dwellings, Capital Gains Tax and Inheritance Tax.
Our team is well placed to work with clients when they are seeking to make a decision in choosing the form of entity they use. We provide the crucial tax advice surrounding these decisions and regularly advise organisation on whether or not to incorporate, joint venture/partnership structures and on the use of limited liability partnerships. We also advise clients on how best to structure the provisions of the funding for the business.
Working hand in hand with our client and colleagues dealing with the acquisition or disposal of the company, we ensure that the way in which the transaction is implemented reflects the strategic tax advice that we provide and deals with negotiation of tax indemnities and warranties.
We understand that though inevitable, change is always difficult to handle. We regularly guide clients through the tax implications and efficiency when undergoing a business restructuring. Our experience varies from advising on a relatively simple arrangement, such as the introduction of a new holding company / group structure, or on a more elaborate restructuring, sometimes to split an existing group between two groups of shareholders or to split a group up so that different areas of business can operate independently. In each case we provide the relevant tax advice, secure any necessary tax clearances from HMRC and oversee implementation of the restructuring to ensure consistency with the advice.
We regularly advise international businesses looking to expand into the UK or to use the UK as part of its structure, and provide them with advice on the appropriate business structure (e.g. branch or subsidiary), group financing and capitalisation arrangements, profit repatriation issues, avoiding double taxation liabilities and withholding tax problems, employment tax issues and value added tax issues.
Our team understands the tax benefits of enterprise and seed enterprise investment schemes and venture capital trusts. We regularly support numerous start-up and early stage businesses to secure tax efficient funding through these schemes; to secure pre-investment approval of HMRC as to SEIS and EIS status; and to deal with post investment enquiries made by HMRC.
Our extensive expertise in advising on equity incentives and ownership structures for key managers, including advice to management teams in private equity backed transactions, is second to none. We also provide advice on carried interest structures. We navigate our clients through the complex “employment related securities” rules to find the optimum means of providing equity participation for management.
Our experts understand that successful CGT often depends not just on the structuring of an exit but also on managing the tax position when the shares are first acquired. We provide advice when shares are originally acquired with the aim of securing tax efficiency for any future exit. We also advise on the structuring of the exit, to include advice on specific issues involved with payment of deferred consideration and use of loan notes and structuring earn-outs.
Today’s political climate has led HMRC to be under more pressure than ever to be seen to be clamping down on organisations and individuals suspected of improperly handling their tax affairs and those advising them to do so. We understand the process and the importance of having one’s tax affairs in order. We regularly provide our clients with advice in relation to COP9 investigations, and both criminal investigations and prosecutions. We have also successfully advised clients on statutory tax appeals within the Tax Tribunal.
Our experts are regularly called upon to advise clients on the UK tax issues associated with cross border corporate transactions or with commercial projects which have an international dimension and we regularly assist with the identification of potential issues in other countries and project manage the provision of tax advice from advisers in those countries.
Our dedicated tax team understands that commercial arrangements which involve licence fee or royalty payments, particularly when involving a cross border element, give rise to the need to consider issues such as the application of withholding tax rules and the application of value added tax. We advise on such matters, including as to solutions available under applicable Double Tax Treaties and means of minimising potential problems through the drafting of the relevant agreements.
Our experts have acted for a number of P2P platforms to identify issues and successfully find solutions to those issues, sometimes including approaches to HMRC in order to agree a pragmatic approach which respects the tax rules but which also takes account of the practicalities of operating a P2P platform.
We work closely with our real estate experts to identify the specific tax issues that arise where property interests are to be transferred as part of a corporate transaction or where corporate structures are being considered for a property project.
Our extensive expertise in tax disputes places us in a position to adequately assist our broad client base in appealing HMRC decisions from the initial appeal to HMRC, all the way through to the tax tribunal system and, if necessary, to the appellate courts.
Today’s political climate has led HMRC to be under more pressure than ever to be seen to be clamping down on organisations and individuals suspected of improperly handling their tax affairs and those advising them to do so. We understand the process and the importance of having one’s tax affairs in order. We regularly provide our clients with advice in relation to COP9 investigations, and both criminal investigations and prosecutions. We have also successfully advised clients on statutory tax appeals within the Tax Tribunal.
Our team of competent tax experts regularly advises clients on disputes relating to all direct and in-direct taxes including corporation tax income tax, national insurance, VAT, Stamp Duty and Customs duties.
We have vast experience in dealing with tax disputes and litigation. We understand that in sometimes a statutory appeal is not possible, in these circumstances we are able to guide our clients through the judicial review process.