Robin joined Bermans in December 2015 and is a Senior Associate in the Corporate department.
He qualified as a solicitor in 2011 having trained in London.
Robin advises clients ranging from start-ups to large companies on a range of corporate matters including mergers and acquisitions, private equity and venture capital investments, reorganisations, joint ventures, incorporations and corporate governance issues. He also regularly advises on employee share and incentive schemes.
Robin was ranked by Experian Corpfin as first in the North West for deals worked on in 2013, 2014 and 2018 and also first in the UK in 2014.
Tel: 0161 827 4619
The PSC or ‘persons with significant control’ register is a new statutory register which will effect UK Companies and LLPs from 6 April 2016 that will form part of the statutory books of the company. The register will contain details of ultimate beneficial owners and controllers, and details of company’s holding, which will ensure this information is available to the public.
The public availability of the register targets the Government’s objective to achieve transparency in the legal and beneficial ownership of UK companies, aiding the fight against tax evasion, money laundering and terrorist financing. Furthermore, the Government’s ‘transparency’ provisions are hoped to develop a climate of confidence amongst companies and consumers alike.
We met up with Colin Watson (pictured below), co-founder and Commercial Director of Wallsauce.com, who from their base in Lancashire provides inspiring wallpaper, removable wall murals and giant wall graphics to enable you to create a home or office environment just for you!
1. What is your business?
We’re a worldwide producer of bespoke wall murals, our main channel to market being our website www.wallsauce.com. We also have a growing B2B customer base who deal with us directly, sectors covered being almost limitless. We’re particularly active in the leisure, care home/hospital, education and serviced office sectors. Prices for the murals start from around £22 + VAT per square metre and the permutations are almost endless. Just find an image already licenced to us, or supply your own, then give us the dimensions of your wall. A maximum of 7 working days later we’ll deliver your made-to-measure mural.
2. Which solicitors do you use at Bermans and how do we compare to other firms?
We use Jon Davage for corporate work and Steve Kuncewicz for our IP and licencing requirements. Both these guys really know their stuff but the main reason we use them is personality fit. Both Jon and Steve have taken the time to get to know our business, and are a pleasure to deal with. It’s mostly about people at the end of the day.
3. What are the biggest challenges you face in growing your business and maintaining profits?
Probably the same answer that most business people would give – availability of funding! Just over 3 years ago we entered a market which, even now, isn’t that well understood. Getting banks/investors to back us was a big challenge but we’ve managed to fund our growth thus far. We could probably raise substantial funds to now fast-track that growth, particularly in foreign markets, but we’re content (for now) growing modestly using the cash we generate from trading activity.
4. Tell us about your typical working day?
My typical working day starts with me dropping my 5-year old daughter at school. I absolutely love being able to do that as it was not something I was able to do with my now grown up son. That’s one of the main benefits of being my own boss. One of the others is the fact my office is only a 5 minute drive from the school so I’m at my desk by 9am. Thereafter, every day is different and it’s certainly not boring. My role covers all things financial, administration and commercial. The bits I really thrive on are developing new relationships with B2B customers and generally helping to get the Wallsauce brand out there.
5. What has been a highlight for Wallsauce.com over the last 12 months?
There have been a few and I couldn’t pick just one. I’d say the rapid recent growth in orders from foreign markets (particularly USA) is a big one. Getting to the top of the organic listings for practically every key term for our products is another. And I wouldn’t want to leave out the development of some great B2B relationships where repeat business opportunities are impressive. The most high profile of these would have to be the relationship we’ve now got with Tesco Plc.
6. What are your plans for Wallsauce.com for the year ahead?
Just to keep developing the business and improving the offering on every level. We’re about to launch a series of new website variants, for example, which will allow numerous foreign countries to purchase products from us using their own currencies. At some point soon we’ll also be offering foreign language versions of the site. All these types of developments will, we’re sure, significantly improve our conversion levels. At a much higher strategic level, the aim for the year ahead is to keep building the brand and increasing profitable turnover. Right now, we’re tracking at a trebling of monthly turnover compared to the prior year. If we keep doing that, we’ll be a pretty big business in the not too distant future!
7. Is there are sector or industry that you are strong in or looking to develop opportunities?
We’re particularly strong in the care home sector. They love our products and typically go for bygone era and local interest imagery. What makes this sector even better for us is the pile of research evidence showing how beneficial this type of imagery can be for residents suffering from dementia.
8. Do you find social media assists your business and if so, how?
Social media is hugely important to Wallsauce. Thus far we’ve mainly concentrated on Facebook and Twitter and have got some great customer engagement. Our offering is so visual, you don’t really have to say too much – just show the audience a picture and let them like/share/comment! Only a few weeks ago we got some nice Twitter exposure when a client of ours, Climb Online, tweeted some photos (See below)and a Wallsauce link – it helped that Climb Online is part owned by Lord Sugar and his tweets were exposed to a following of over 5 million people.
We’re about to do a lot more with Pinterest and Instagram so that should prove interesting.
9. If you were chancellor, what single change would you make to help improve the economy and/or your business?
Do something to make it easier for new businesses to secure debt funding, without the requirement to give PG’s and/or personal security. Obviously there would need to be safeguards but we have to make it easier for entrepreneurs to start new businesses.
10. What are your passions away from business?
Sport used to feature quite significantly, both spectator and participant, but now it’s all about family. Just love spending time with my wife and little girl. One day I’ll even break the habit of looking at Google Analytics on my mobile phone – I hope!
SPECIAL OFFER! FOR BERMANS CONTACTS
As a gesture to all Bermans clients and contacts, Colin will offer a 10% discount on all enquirers mentioning this article.
To get in touch with Colin at Wallsauce:
t: 01772 284110
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The business continues to perform well and you may have seen some of our recent press in Insider and BusinessDesk confirming we are looking to attract new talent . We value the people we have and retaining them and attracting others of the same quality is a key element of our strategy.
We do hope you have found the articles in this newsletter useful. We want to provide you with content that will assist your business and provide you with useful information . As part of this process over the next few months we are going to undertake a communications survey that will allow us to distribute more tailored updates with a frequency and in a format you prefer. This process should start towards the end of April/early May and should take no more than 5 minutes of your time. We would be very grateful if you can assist us in gathering this information.
We are delighted to have recently been accredited with ISO 9001 certification for quality management system and ISO 27001 certification for information security management. Part of our commitment to our clients is to engage more and to obtain feedback that will help us shape and affect how legal solutions are provided to you as our clients.
We want to engage more effectively with you in order to obtain a better insight into your business so that we can add value in addition to providing
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Finally I would recommend that if you are an employer, you or someone in your business responsible for HR attends our employment department`s seminar on Thursday 28th April. Attendees will receive an update on the latest legal changes, be able to ensure they are fully compliant with them and be given the opportunity to mingle with other HR people.
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