Chattertons provides specialist corporate law advice to UK businesses, and to overseas investors looking to invest.
These clients come to us because of our strong reputation for providing corporate support that is not only specifically tailored to each client, but which helps clients forge new business connections and identify new opportunities. Our corporate law solicitors work day in, day out in the commercial world; they understand the markets, the trends, and the pitfalls. And it is this expertise, in addition to legal knowledge, that brings real advantages for our clients.
The range of our services is broad, covering:
- Company takeovers
- Corporate finance
- Corporate insolvency
- International Investment Agreements
- Joint ventures
- Mergers, acquisitions and disposals
- Private equity and management
Our commercial solicitors work with businesses of different shapes and sizes, from small start-ups to multinational PLCs. And we work across all industries and sectors, from professional services, to construction, to retail. Our focus is in providing corporate advice and support that gets clients to where they want to be; whether that is up and running as a brand new business, in a better financial position thanks to an injection of funding, or under new ownership.
Being a large firm, we can offer a number of related services including employment law, property law, business immigration, and dispute resolution. It means that our corporate clients can rely on a seamless approach to their business and its affairs; one that takes account of a company’s individual characteristics, its personnel, and its way of working. Our business solicitors get to know this – quickly. And because we invest time in getting to understand your organisation as well as you do, you get the best advice on your deal or strategic step.
Clients often ask us.....
Should I set up as a sole trader or a limited company?
This really depends on the nature and scale of your business. A sole trader and a limited company are different legal entities, so it is important to choose the right one. The main difference between the two is that a person operating as a sole trader is the business, whereas a director in a limited company has a degree of separation from it. A director in a limited company is, in some but not all situations, protected from personal liability in the event of something going wrong.
There can also be tax advantages of setting up as a limited company, as opposed to a sole trader. But there are also strict requirements when it comes to filing financial and other information, some of which will be accessible to the public. And, while a sole trader owns everything generated by their business, a company director does not – which means that more formal procedures need to be set up for paying a director’s salary.
Our corporate solicitors will be able to advise you on the options, help you make the right decision, and set up your business to operate on the best legal and commercial basis.
How can I make sure that the commercial arrangements I have got in place are the best ones for my business?
Many commercial arrangements are negotiated on start-up and simply continue with very few variations over the years. Our corporate solicitors advocate a different approach. Getting the best agreement in place at the outset is of course important, and it pays to understand your bargaining position and what your business needs. But it is also important to keep terms under regular review.
As corporate solicitors, we understand not just the legal obligations that businesses have but also the commercial scope for agreeing better terms with customers, suppliers, distributors, and contractors. And we work with our clients to audit their commercial agreements, spot where change is needed, and help negotiate more favourable arrangements.
I am worried that our business may not be legally compliant. What should I do?
Speak to one of our commercial solicitors. We have wide-ranging experience in helping businesses comply with the regulatory regimes that apply to them. Our team will review your existing documents and practices, and work with you to ensure that you are doing all you should, in the way that you should be doing it.
We also keep clients updated as relevant areas of corporate law change.
Do you advise directors?
Yes. In collaboration with Chattertons’ Wealth Management division, we advise directors on their business and on their own financial interests and wealth protection.
Should I protect the intellectual property in my business?
A great business concept, a product, a name, or logo can all be valuable assets and you should take steps to protect them, as you would your business premises, equipment, and personnel.
Talk to one of our corporate solicitors. We will advise on the best ways of looking after your intellectual property through trademarks, patents, or registered designs, and on the applicability of automatic protection through copyright, and design right.
We also represent clients who believe that their intellectual property rights have been breached, as well as those alleged to have breached the rights of someone else.
I am going into business with my brother. He says there is no need for a partnership agreement. Is he right?
No. Irrespective of how close your relationship is now, going into business with a family member, or a friend, has the potential to change things – sometimes for the better, but sometimes for the worse. Our corporate solicitors will help put in place the right agreement for your business. Typical terms should cover how the two of you are to make business decisions, how you are to be paid, and what should happen if things do not work out.
By having an agreement in place at the very beginning, you will be getting off on the right footing, creating certainty, and ultimately standing your business in good stead to succeed.