Latest News

Sale of a domestic and commercial security company

Birkett Long’s Commercial & Corporate Finance team has recently completed the sale of a domestic and commercial security company, for a total enterprise value of £400,000.   Aspects that made this deal particularly interesting was the...

a revised loan facility

Birkett Long’s Commercial & Corporate Finance team recently completed a revised loan facility for a client. The client borrowed an extra £17 million by way of an additional term loan, and added a further £8 million to its existing...

Data protection shield

The EU Data Protection Directive only permits transfers of personal data from the EU to territories outside the European Economic Area if adequate protection for that data is ensured in the receiving territory. Previously, the Safe Harbor framework was an...

Certificates of title

Birkett Long were requested to provide certificates of title for 24 freehold properties owned by a long-term client. We used the strength and breadth of our Real Estate Team and the Corporate Team to deal with the high level of work involved, assisted by...

Asset purchases with long-term interests

Birkett Long acted on behalf of a partner selling their interest in a farming partnership. The transaction involves complex tax planning arrangements to ensure the protection of entrepreneur’s relief for both the outgoing and the continuing partner....

Sales and international affairs

Birkett long acts for a number of multinational corporations providing assistance on cross border work. For example we advised two multinational corporations, both headquartered in France, on legal aspects of their UK businesses in the automotive and...

Directors - do you understand your responsibilities?

Being a director of a company gives rise to a number of responsibilities – and not all directors are aware of the extent of these. Here is a summary of the key areas: Directors’ powers Directors should check whether there are restrictions on...

Accelerated Payment Notices - Bad news for Tax Planners

In the 2014 budget, the Chancellor announced that tax payers will have to pay disputed tax up front when they have sought tax advantages through tax avoidance schemes that fall within disclosure of tax avoidance schemes ( DOTAS ) rules or are counteracted...

Boost for businesses run from home

The government has announced more help for budding entrepreneurs, making it easier to start and grow businesses based in their homes. There are around 2.9 million such businesses and they contribute over £300 billion each year to the economy (UK...

Directors Responsibilities: a quick summary

Being a director of a company gives rise to a number of responsibilities – and not all directors are aware of the extent of these. Below is a summary of key responsibilities: Directors Powers While not all companies will have their objects set out...

A risky investment

We frequently come across situations where people have invested in private companies without getting the proper legal protections in place.  A recent example illustrates the problems you can encounter if you spend your money without taking any legal...

Regulating the Crowd

From 1 April 2014, the Financial Conduct Authority will regulate lending and borrowing using internet platforms. The difficulty faced by businesses and new ventures in raising funds from traditional sources, such as banks, over the last few years has led to...

Red7Marine Investment

Birkett Long LLP acted for Red7Marine Group Limited and its shareholders on the sale of an interest in the Group to Perwyn, which is concomitant with a substantial injection of new capital to enable Red7Marine to acquire additional assets to service its...

Sale of Seatrade Communications Limited

Birkett Long acted for executive chairman and owner Chris Hayman on the sale of Seatrade Communications Limited, a brand leader in the global business to business maritime industries, to UBM, owner and organiser of Cruise Shipping Miami, Marintec China, Sea...

Major freight deal with Simarco

Birkett Long has advised on a deal involving one of the UK’s leading independent freight firms, Simarco, buying the Staffordshire-based freight operator IFB for an undisclosed sum. The team of solicitors was led by David Wisbey, a partner in the...

Birkett Long helps sell established lettings agencies

Birkett Long LLP acted for Jeremy Goddard and the other shareholders of 3 separate companies operating as lettings agencies under the “Goddard” brand in relation to the sale of each company to Leaders Limited. Jeremy remains interested in estate...

Cloud computing - draft EU data protection regulations create hazy horizons

Cloud Computing Service Providers ( CSPs ) have altered the way in which data is stored, transferred and accessed on a global scale and the number of CSPs is on the rise.  Cloud computing is the delivery of information technology services through a...

Plea to help businesses access government funds

A legal expert with law firm Birkett Long is urging businesses in the heart of Essex, which includes Chelmsford, Maldon and Brentwood, to contact him so he can help them access government funds. David Rayner, who is Partner and Head of the firm’s...

The cost efficiencies of 'going green'

Renewable energy is becoming increasingly important for those involved in the construction sector, for those who have residential properties and all businesses who own or occupy commercial premises.  It is becoming important, not just because...

Do you know who really owns your company shares?

If not, you may soon have to find out... The British Government issued a range of proposals in the summer to enhance the transparency of UK company ownership and increase trust in UK business*. One of the key proposals is the introduction of new rules...

I wish I had updated my shareholders agreement

As a shareholder it is impossible to plan for every eventuality. A frequent challenge therefore is ensuring that when there are changes across the business, these have a minimal impact. A common mistake is to think that the company’s basic Articles of...

EMI share option schemes update

As part of the 2013 Budget the Government has made the EMI (Enterprise Management Incentives) scheme even more attractive for small and medium businesses in the UK. At its core, the EMI scheme is a tax-efficient share option plan, suitable for nearly all...

Insolvencies fell in the last quarter of 2012: is this good news?

The Insolvency Service published their analysis of the rate of insolvencies for the fourth quarter of 2012 on 1 February 2013.  The results showed that there was a decrease in the rate of insolvencies by: 3.3% compared to the third quarter of 2012;...

Legitimate business expenditure?

Under the Companies Act 2006 (CA) part of the general duties of a director are to: Exercise independent judgement; and Not to accept benefits from third parties. These duties are particularly relevant when it comes to the issue of bribery.  Under...

The worm turns: Maidment v Attwood

The shareholders in a company trust its directors to run the company properly and in their interests as a whole.  It is an established principle that the directors of a company should act in its interests.  Should the directors’ duties be...

Late Payment of Commercial Debts Regulations 2013

21 February 2013 saw the Late Payment of Commercial Debts Regulations 2013 (“Regulations”) being passed to come into force on 16 March 2013, meeting the Government’s obligation to implement the European Late Payment Directive. The...

The proposed Common European Sales Law (CESL)

In October 2011 the European Commission proposed regulation on a common European sales law. Since then the proposals have been the subject of a House of Commons challenge and a consultation which sought views from UK interests on the CESL proposal and...

Just hot air?

If your premises have air conditioning or climate control, be aware of a change in the law from 1 January 2015.  From that date, the use of reclaimed or recycled refrigerant gas, R22, to top up existing air conditioning systems, will become...

Your data or mine?

The recent case of Beechwood House Publishing v Guardian Products Limited & Precision Direct Marketing Limited has provided two valuable lessons.  Firstly, a clear warning to any person or organisation planning to make use of a database in a manner...

Pilot franchises steer course for success

When planning to franchise a business your business plan should include pilot franchises.  Any would-be franchisor might assume that their own successful operation of their business is enough to entice potential franchisees to participate and to ensure...

Data Protection Act review likely to put increased administrative burden on business

The EU's data protection regime is currently set out in Directive 95/46/EC, which was implemented in the UK by the Data Protection Act 1998 (DPA).  Technological developments and globalisation since the Directive led the European Commission to...

You Are What You Eat - and soon manufacturers will have to tell you exactly what that is

Most pre-packed foods in this country are already well labelled with ingredients, allergy information, traffic light systems etc. However, the EU is introducing new Regulations to try and consolidate and simplify existing UK food labelling laws. The...

Buying a business? Transferring employees should not become "Smiling Pensioners"

Whether the parties want them to or not, when a business is sold the employees of the business may also automatically transfer to the buyer because of the Transfer of Undertaking (Protection of Employment) Regulations 2006, sometimes referred to as...

First Bribery Act Sentence

The first person to be convicted under the recent Bribery Act was a 22 year old court clerk from Dagenham. Munir Yakub Patel worked at Redbridge Magistrates Court and was filmed by The Sun accepting £500 in return for not entering details of a traffic...

Divorce in mid life

An increasing number of couples are separating and divorcing in their 50’s.  Opinions why are divided.  Twenty years of raising children may have helped cover over fault lines in the marriage or even just a gradual drifting apart.  But...

When the going gets tough, the tough get restructuring

Tougher economic environments often see a greater amount of restructuring within businesses, including a demerger. There are a number of reasons why a company may want to demerge: - to unlock shareholder value (sometimes enabling an exit by one party); - to...

Your business property. It does not have to cost the earth

David Rayner, partner from Birkett Long’s Commercial Property Team discusses the “big themes” that are likely to affect commercial premises during 2012. From the perspective of both landlords/investors on the one hand and tenants/occupiers...

Assisting the regions SME power houses

It is an unquestionable fact that the revival of the UK economy will be dependent upon the success of our SMEs.  East Anglia boasts a higher percentage of SME businesses than other parts of the country, and the lawyers at Birkett Long LLP have been...

Birkett Long helps bring investment to Essex business

Leading Essex law firm Birkett Long LLP has advised a major industrial group on a new investment in a business based in South Essex. David Wisbey, corporate finance lawyer and Birkett Long’s Chairman, led the team that advised Valeo on the acquisition...

OFT takes action against "group-buying" website

In the past year or so the popularity of group-buying websites has increased dramatically. These websites offer discounts on products which are conditional upon a certain number of people signing up to purchase them. The Office of Fair Trading (OFT) has...

The Cross-Over of Employment Law in Partnerships

Equity partners (including members of LLPs) do not qualify for many employment protection rights but they do have the right not to suffer unlawful discrimination (namely the right not to be discriminated against on grounds of age, disability, sex, sexual...

Know Your Customers' Rights?

The Consumer Rights Directive (CRD) was adopted by the European Union on the 10 October 2011. The Directive was originally put forward to create a uniform set of consumer rights across the European Union. The overarching aim of the new Consumer Rights...

Directors - Are your actions promoting the success of the company?

Recent legal cases have highlighted the importance of a director’s duty to act in good faith and to promote the success of the company. Under Part 11 of the Companies Act 2006 (“Act”) a statutory derivative claim can be brought if a...

Inheritance Tax, the implications for business transactions

A recent professional negligence case involving law firm Mills & Reeve has highlighted the importance of ensuring clients are fully advised on the tax consequences of their business transaction. The case hinged on the tax implications of a management...

If only...I'd adopted a shareholders' agreement

Partnerships are easy to get out of and unravel, so you can have your investment back - even if there is no agreement, you can simply give notice to terminate the partnership, at which point you can have what you are entitled to of the partnership’s...

Life in the international team

Although Birkett Long is based in Essex and is proud of its roots in the county, we act for clients locally, nationally and internationally. For that reason we have an international team, made up of lawyers experienced in working on cross border matters,...

Caught for fraudulent trading

Liquidators seeking to bring a claim under s.213 Insolvency Act 1986 (fraudulent trading) must be able to demonstrate that the relevant persons involved showed actual dishonesty. A recent case heard in the Chancery Division saw a company secretary and the...

"Cookies" - avoid the monster

The Information Commissioner has given organisations and businesses that run websites aimed at UK consumers up to 12 months to ‘get their house in order’ before enforcement of a new EU “cookies” law. A “cookie” is a...

Thousands of gym contracts ruled unfair in OFT case

The Office of Fair Trading (OFT) has confirmed its ability to enforce fairness for consumers. A recent case brought by the OFT in the High Court clearly highlights the importance of ensuring that a business’ terms and conditions are adequately drafted...

Bribery Act 2010

Guidance about procedures organisations can put in place to prevent bribery The Ministry of Justice has published its guidance about procedures that relevant commercial organisations can put into place to prevent persons associated with them from bribing...

Personal liability for directors

Company directors face many rules and regulations during their day to day working life, and most certainly at a time of their company going into administration or liquidation. The recent case of Oxford Pharmaceuticals Ltd (2010) involved a company that had...

Snow good for business

Over the past months the country has been badly affected by snow and ice, with transport networks coming to a shivering halt. So what does this mean for an employer left with a depleted workforce? This is an issue not limited to snow, as last year’s...

No one likes rejection ... but Companies House rejection could cost you

Is your business one of the 11.1% of Companies submitting incorrect annual accounts and reports to Companies House? If your company fails to comply with the new Companies Act 2006 (CA 2006) requirements, you could find your Company submissions rejected by...

I know my rights!

The Office of Fair Trading has produced new guidance to help retailers and anyone who sells goods to consumers to comply with the Sale of Goods Act 1979 when customers want to return goods or ask for a refund. In developing this section of their website,...

STOP PRESS: Changes to Retirement Rules

From October 2011 it will be harder for an employer to retire an employee. It will no longer be the case that an employee can be retired solely on the basis of their age, an employer will have to be able to objectively justify their decision to retire a...

Supreme Court Upholds German Heiress' Pre-Marital Agreement

In a decision that has shocked many legal commentators, the Supreme Court has slashed the £5.6m awarded to the ex husband of German heiress Katrin Radmacher by the High Court in July 2008. In doing so the Court also laid down a general principle that...

Fines for Breaches of Environmental Law

The Court of Appeal has ruled in a case which establishes an important precedent for the setting of fines for breaches of environmental law. Thames Water had appealed against a fine of £125,000 for a mistake which had led to pollution of the river...

Birkett Long backs Panorama's plea for proper legislation of will writers

An Essex solicitor is backing the BBC show Panorama’s plea for will writers to be subjected to proper legislation, ahead of tonight’s (Monday 9 August) programme which exposes the risks of not seeking full and proper legal advice when creating a...

Essex solicitors secure five management buy-out deals in 12 days

Essex solicitors Birkett Long turned around five separate management buy-outs in just 12 days, securing jobs and continuity of service for a national accountancy group. Vantis plc and HLB Vantis Audit plc went into administration on June 29, putting jobs...

The Risks of Commencing a Contract Before it is Signed

Entering into and negotiating contracts can be a long and detailed process. Disagreements over what should or should not be included are common, with each party seeking to protect their position and level of liability. It is not surprising that on occasion...

Essex shoppers get free legal advice in the supermarket car park

From wills and copyright issues to divorce and disrupted wedding plans, Chelmsford shoppers voiced their troubles on Friday to an innovative group of legal eagles in a supermarket entrance hall. More than 15 shoppers turned out for on-the-the-spot free...

Pick up some free legal advice with your weekly shop this April

A team of Essex solicitors is to hit the streets and offer free legal advice to shoppers in Chelmsford next week. Inspired by hit TV show Street Doctor, six solicitors from Essex firm Birkett Long will share their knowledge at Sainsbury’s car park,...

EU strives to bridge the Gender Pay Gap

Taken across the EU as a whole, the gap in pay between men and women currently stands at roughly 18%. The European Commission has, therefore, pledged to tackle this over the coming five years, and plan to employ numerous methods in their aim to equalise...

Extension of Paternity Leave

From April 2010 new legislation will come into force that will enable fathers to claim up to an additional 6 months of paternity leave. This right will, however, only come into play if the mother of the child has returned to work before the end of her...

New Environmental Damage Regulations in Force

  The new Environmental Damage Regulations are in effect from 1 March 2009. Based on the ‘polluter pays’ principle, the regulations set out action to be taken where there is an imminent risk of environmental damage or environmental damage...