Business and Corporate

Business and Corporate

This page contains a flavour of the business and corporate work that we do at Hatton James Legal.

Restructures

We have guided our clients through many restructures. An employer has a wide scope to make changes to its business model but it is important to know where the boundaries are. Employee redundancies can lead to appeals and threats of claims from employees, which our clients can deal with robustly.

Where the restructure includes selling off part of the business we will advise on the TUPE implications of this, guiding you through the letters, meetings and agreements necessary to avoid tribunal claims.

A client recently wanted to restructure its business to bunch up its working hours in the week to save thousands per month on heating. At the same time it wanted more flexibility from its employees. We changed the working hours to ensure that employees worked Monday to Thursday and had to work Friday to Saturdays if required. They ended up with more pay overall and the employer ended up with less costs.

Agents

We have a surprising number of agents disputes, requiring advice on the Commercial Agents regulations. Recently we have seen this issue from both angles.

A business client of ours wished to dispense with the services of an agent but didn’t want to pay 2 years worth of commission as compensation. We reached a settlement on the basis that some of his work fell outside the scope of the Regulations  for technical legal reasons. Not wanting a fight, he backed down and was replaced for a smaller sum than our client had budgeted for.

Shareholder agreement and disputes etc

We are currently advising on a dispute between owners of different apartments in a block where there was no shareholder’s agreement for the community association. Some of them are not contributing to the sinking fund. Threatening proceedings is traditional but expensive to carry out. We are advising that since the property is mortgaged it would be cheaper to threaten to report the deficiency to the mortgagee, who would protect its interest by ending the mortgage, forcing a sale and replacing the co-owners with more compliant ones.

Setting up a business

A foreign client is setting up an online business in the UK, wishing to be advised on all the laws that will apply. Clearly this is a large open question and includes

  • Consumer Contracts (Information, Cancellation and Additional Charges) Regulations
  • The E-commerce Regulations
  • The Provision of Services Regulations
  • The Consumer ADR Regulations
  • The Sales of Goods and Services Act
  • The Unfair Contract Terms Act and Unfair Terms in Consumer Contracts Regulations

We offered to be their UK business advisers, ensuring that the business complies with UK law and sharing the risk and reward.

Non-payment of amounts due under a contract

Frequently our clients ask us for advice on what to do when an amount due under a contract remains outstanding.

The answer depends on the amount at stake and whether there are good grounds for non-payment or not. We find that drafting a claim and sending a courtesy copy to the business often produces the goods. However, where the other side has an arguable case for non-payment, there needs to be a period of exploring the legal issues between the parties and that is when you want the most creative lawyers on your side.