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Is it time for some much needed business house keeping?

Jon Davage

The last six months have presented significant challenges to business owners who have grappled with continuing their businesses in the face of restrictive lockdown rules imposed to combat the spread of Covid 19. Many business owners are now operating with a workforce of home workers and their typical working day differs significantly from their life pre-March 2020.

As face to face meetings, corporate events and travel have been stripped from the schedules, business owners may finally find some free time during their day to review the nuts and bolts of their business. That long-awaited review of the shareholding structure, the employee share scheme that has been in the offing for years, the review of key commercial contracts, for some there is now enough time in the working week to get around to these projects.

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Future Fund – access to growth capital for high growth companies

Jon Davage

Future Fund – access to growth capital for high growth companies

The Coronavirus pandemic has seen a reduction in the usual funding streams for some businesses and has forced the Government to think creatively about how they can support promising, infant companies. The result is the new Future Fund.

What is the Future Fund?

On the 20th May 2020 the Government launched another Coronavirus short term rescue package to support business. The Future Fund is aimed at helping pre-revenue or pre-profit companies that were struggling to qualify for other Government rescue packages.

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New arrivals in Bermans Corporate team

Barney Leaf

Bermans has made two appointments to its Corporate team. The team, led by Jon Davage, welcomed Barney Leaf as a partner and Simon Nolan as a Solicitor from Laytons LLP.

Barney has over 20 years of corporate law experience and acts for international and domestic businesses in many sectors ranging from retail, online, law firms, insurance, finance and investment funds.

Joining Barney from Laytons will be his assistant solicitor, Simon Nolan.  Simon will undertake the variety of corporate instructions that are generated by the varied portfolio of clients that Bermans acts for.

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Locking in Human Capital (EMI Scheme)

jon_davageLocking in your key employees is always a balancing act between work life balance, remuneration packages and showing employees they are valued and part of the very fabric of the organisation.

One of the most effective ways of imbedding employees into your business is through capital ownership, which provides a shared goal towards exit and increasing value.

This is a powerful way to tell a key employee of their value to the business and can create an “in this together” attitude.

Such a structure creates rewards for all on a fair basis through the eventual sale of the business.

One of the most popular types of employee share option schemes with SMEs is enterprise management incentives (‘EMI’).

EMI schemes are a popular way of attracting and retaining employees and they can provide significant tax benefits.

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Is Employee Ownership an Option for your Business?

robin-hastings-1-1What do Riverford, the organic vegetable box company, Richer Sounds, the hi-fi chain and Turleys, the planning consultancy have in common? Well, as from May 2019, they are or are about to become employee owned businesses with Julian Richer being the latest business owner to announce he is transferring 60% of his shareholding into an Employee Ownership Trust (EOT).

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Family Investment Companies

robin-hastings-1-1Traditionally, the most common way to pass down family wealth has been by way of discretionary trust structures. However, recent changes to the tax regime now mean that family investment companies (FICs) could offer more favourable tax treatments when deciding how to deal with future generations – particularly for individuals with large inheritance tax (IHT) estates.

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Share Buybacks – When Are They Void?


A share buyback (a process whereby shares in a company are bought by the company itself and cancelled) is a popular and relatively less-complex way for companies to provide an exit route for, or return surplus cash to, its shareholders. Whilst the law and procedure for carrying out a share buyback is quite clear and straightforward, we have dealt with a number of instances where the validity of a share buyback has been questioned and further action required to be taken in order to ratify the validity of a buyback transaction.

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Buying distressed businesses


In this article, Jon Davage outlines some pointers for those seeking acquisition opportunities via an insolvency process.

The folding of a company may be catastrophic for the stakeholders of the relevant company, but insolvencies provide buyers with the ability to acquire assets and valuable customer contracts at reduced prices. However, acquisitions of this type are not without their perils and often have hidden costs. Here are some issues to consider before you embark on this type of deal.

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