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Running a Business

New insolvency provisions and the impact on suppliers

Tracey Dickens
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This Act came into force on the 26 June 2020. The Government has been looking at amending the Insolvency Act 1986 ( “1986 Act” ) for some time now. Following the acceptance that the world was facing a pandemic, the Government announced it was...

Entering into a new contract during the COVID-19 outbreak

Thomas Emmett
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In the UK and around the world, governments have announced a variety of measures to support businesses whilst COVID-19 lockdown restrictions and social distancing measures remain in place.   Many businesses are facing commercial and practical...

Keeping your board meetings going whilst in lockdown

Tim Field
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As the country continues to be affected by the effects of Covid-19, I have been asked by a number of clients how they can continue to hold board meetings and effectively operate their company, whilst social distancing rules apply. Fortunately, there are a...

How the furlough scheme works for office holders and LLP members

Tracey Dickens
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On 4 April 2020, the government updated its guidance for employers in relation to the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, which enables employers to claim for employee wages, up to specified limits. The updated guidance addresses office holders, company...

What should you consider before using video conferencing?

Tracey Dickens
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Video conferencing app Houseparty’s owner, Epic Games, has been accused of enabling other apps of those using Houseparty to be hacked.  This accusation could have appeared through a commercial smear campaign. However, it made me think more...

EMI Schemes and furloughing staff

Tim Field
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In recent years, Enterprise Management Incentives (EMI) share options have become an increasingly popular way for owners of small and medium sized businesses to incentivise and provide an opportunity for employees to become shareholders. Therefore they...

COVID 19: The increased use of electronic signatures

Jonathon Holyhead
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The precautions being put into place in the United Kingdom to address the spread of Coronavirus (COVID 19) includes, requiring many people to work from home. Birkett Long is no different, our staff are now working remotely. I myself have now had to take the...

COVID-19: temporary change to buying or selling shares

Tim Field
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The government has released updated advice relating to the stamping of stock transfer forms, payment of stamp duty and the new measures put in place because of coronavirus. As you will be aware, when buying shares in a limited company the government imposes...

Is coronavirus a force majeure event?

Tracy England
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The UK government has recently announced guidance to contain the spread of coronavirus, advising that people should avoid pubs, clubs and theatres and stop all non-essential travel.  With the impending disruption posed to businesses, from cancellation...

Social media influencers: is your post an #Ad?

Tim Field
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With the proliferation of social media influencers, the Advertising Standards Agency (ASA) are cracking down on advertising posts. Do your posts comply with the current guidelines? The ASA has just launched an easy to use flow chart to assist social media...

Force majeure: Is Coronavirus an Act of God?

David Wisbey
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This is one of a number of questions I have been asked by a client about the impact of the coronavirus on supply chains. Our client manufactures car components in factories in China. It also relies on suppliers of sub-components and raw materials that are...

Can your email footer amount to a signature?

Perdeep Grewal
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The world’s oldest known signature, from Sumeria (in modern-day Iraq), was added to the back of a clay tablet in circa 3100 BC. Fast forward to the 21st century, electronic signatures are now used as a popular and quick way to execute documents. Do...

Directors' personal liability - breach of employment contract

Tracey Dickens
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There are a number of circumstances where directors can be subject to personal liability arising from their wrongdoing while managing a company. These can include: breach of duties under the Companies Act 2006 wrongful trading under the Insolvency Act...

Basildon: an economic powerhouse of the South-East

Laura Meers
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Birkett Long opened its Basildon office in 2011. With offices already in Colchester and Chelmsford, it may not be immediately obvious why Basildon was chosen as a location for the firm’s third office. Basildon isn’t typically thought of as an...

Alternative Dispute Resolution - I'll see you in mediation!

Perdeep Grewal
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While Brexit continues to make the headlines, there have been major developments in the field of alternative dispute resolution, also known as ADR. The Civil Justice Council published its ADR and Civil Justice Final Report which outlined the ways ADR is...

When can I terminate a commercial agreement?

Thomas Emmett
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Yes, we are talking Brexit again, but not entirely. With Brexit practically upon us, businesses up and down the country might find themselves in unchartered waters wondering how easy or difficult it will be to get out of contractual obligations when the...

Why should you invest in a shareholders' agreement

Thomas Emmett
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Business owners have no problem organising business insurance to protect themselves against known potential risks, yet not all shareholders choose to protect themselves against the known risks involved in owning shares in a company. With all the day to day...

Avoid ending up with an unexpected business partner!

Tracey Dickens
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Our Commercial & Corporate Finance Team has seen an increase in new clients experiencing difficulties following the death of a shareholder, whereby the deceased’s shares are being passed to their relatives. Business owners have been seeking our...

Changes to Termination Clauses

David Feakins
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On 26 August 2018, the Government announced its proposals to make extensive changes to the insolvency legislation currently in force within the UK. These proposed changes form part of the Government’s focus on “delivering a strong business...

Inadequate commercial lease ruling

Daniel Sturman
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The Court of Appeal has recently ruled on the inadequacies of a commercial lease, which has sent a message to all landlords and tenants about the risks of an improperly drafted lease. In the case of J N Hipwell & Son v Szurek , Mrs Szurek, the tenant,...

Employees prefer alternative working arrangements

Charlotte Holman
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Recent research published by YouGov has revealed that if workers had a choice they would prefer their working day to start and finish earlier, rather than work what has become the conventional ‘9 to 5’ pattern. This is not surprising in view of...

Gig economy - workers' rights to be enforced

Reggie Lloyd
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In response to last year's Taylor Review into working practices, the government has promised an overhaul of employment rights to improve conditions for those in the gig economy. The Business Secretary, Greg Clark, said the measures would "address...

Mental health and the workplace

Reggie Lloyd
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In October 2017, the Department for Work and Pensions and the Department for Health published a review of mental health and employers. The review was written by Paul Farmer (the chief executive of Mind) and Dennis Stevenson (the former HBOS chair). They...

Tesco and Sainsbury's make changes which will cause job cuts!

Charlotte Holman
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This week both Tesco and Sainsbury’s announced changes to their business models which included a high number of job cuts; but what does this mean for those employees who now face the potential prospect of losing their jobs? Given that the number of...

New rules prohibiting sexual portrayal of under 18's in advertising

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Advertising on non-broadcast platforms, for example; online and print, is governed by the UK Code of Non-Broadcast Advertising, Sales Promotion and Direct Marketing (“CAP Code”).  The Advertising Standards Association (“ASA”) has...

Fending off corporate insolvency

Kevin Sullivan
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With increasing numbers of companies becoming insolvent, those on the edge financially may well be wondering if there is anything they can do to stop themselves from falling into the abyss. According to statistics from the Insolvency Service, corporate...

GDPR - being aware of any exemptions or adjustments

Tracey Dickens
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While the GDPR will be directly applicable in all EU members states with effect from 25 May 2018, a new Data Protection Bill announced in the Queen’s Speech has started its route through parliament.  The Bill will replace the Data Protection Act...

NON COMPETE CLAUSES

Reggie Lloyd
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Businesses should protect themselves with a review of restrictive covenants regularly, to make sure they are appropriate to the role which the employee is carrying out. Businesses often put restrictive covenants and non-compete clauses in contracts of...

The need for businesses to be careful when advertising

Thomas Emmett
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A TV ad for American Express seen in April 2017 contained a voiceover, part of which claimed that the American Express Platinum Cashback Everyday Credit Card provided 5% cashback on all purchases.  Two Complainants challenged that claim on the basis...

The right to be forgotten

Tracey Dickens
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The Government is ramping up its visibility of this new law. Failure to comply with the General Data Protection Regulation could result in your business receiving a heavy fine.  Businesses that deal with consumers need to: 1. Be aware that their...

Preferred route for new Lower Thames Crossing announced.

David Rayner
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On 12 April the Transport Secretary, Chris Grayling, announced the long-awaited decision on the preferred route for the new Lower Thames Crossing, saying that it could create more than 6,000 jobs and boost the economy by more than £8 billion. The new...

Confirmation statements - revised guidance

Tracey Dickens
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Companies House has revised its guidance on confirmation statements, clarifying that if a company is filing its first confirmation statement and hasn't previously filed a new style statement of capital (after 30 June 2016), it must file a full statement...

2016 Legal 500 results are out!

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"A standout name in Essex" quoted by Legal 500 2016 for Birkett Long! This year has been a great success for Birkett Long, 3 of our partners have again been ranked as "Leading Individuals". These are Claire Read, Head of Wills, Trusts...

Sustainable energy shouldn't make businesses feel green

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While it is now clear that the UK must do more to create its own energy, there is no consensus as to how and where this energy should be produced. Each possibility poses its own concerns – has ‘fracking’ been suitably tested? What if...

Employment Law update - New regulations

Tim Ogle
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I see that the Government has stated that the moratorium exempting businesses with fewer than 10 employees from new regulations will be extended to firms with up to 50 staff, and will continue beyond 2014. Firms will also be exempted from new regulations if...

Our first Birkett Long 'Green' Breakfast

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7 March was not only the day that the game Monopoly was invented, it was the day that Birkett Long held its first in a series of green breakfasts. 7 March 2013 was our first ‘green’ breakfast in Chelmsford where our team leader David Rayner and...

EU reform proposals to include Data Protection Officers - the MoJ says 'nul point'

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In line with previous statements on this issue the UK government has categorically stated that businesses should not be placed under any further commitment to appoint dedicated data protection officers that they would have had to under a new EU data...

Do you have your head in the clouds?

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The recent iCloud failure which caused an outage for many has highlighted the rise of ‘cloud’ providers such as Google and iCloud and calls into question how robust and secure this new method of storage is. ‘Cloud computing’ was...