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Is Forfeiture the Answer?

michael_smeatonLocal high streets, town centres and out of town retail parks are all sporting empty units as retailers continue to find market conditions tough. In the last 12 months we have seen some big names disappear such as House of Fraser, HMV and Better Bathrooms and we have seen other retailers reduce their portfolio by closing stores such as Marks and Spencer and John Lewis.

Commercial landlords will normally have an early warning when businesses are struggling as they will often default on rental payments. Depending on the terms of the lease, landlords may have the right to forfeit the lease for non-payment, bringing the lease to an end and giving the landlord an opportunity to re-let the property. But in these tough times is that the landlord’s best option?

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Rights of Subcontractors

Tnick_harveyhe rush hour commute into Manchester City Centre ground to a halt one morning last month as a disgruntled subcontractor chose to block one of the key routes with plant hire vehicles. The protest was against of non-payment by Dawnus Construction, the main contractor appointed by Manchester City Council to carry of a £15 million road improvement scheme in Manchester and Salford.

The subcontractor, Total Plant Hire (TPL), had supplied plant and machinery to Dawnus for the scheme. When Dawnus failed to pay under the terms of the contract and TPL couldn’t get through to anyone at Dawnus or the Council it took drastic action. Sadly the action was in vain as Dawnus entered Administration that same week. TPL was said to be owed £300,000 by Dawnus. So what can TPL do to recover its money?

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What protection do I have as a shareholder?

michael_smeaton

All shareholders in UK companies have certain rights in relation to their shares and in relation to the company. Whilst the precise rights that a shareholder enjoys will vary depending on the size of their shareholding (the larger the shareholding, the greater the number of rights enjoyed by the shareholder), certain basic rights and protections apply regardless of the number of shares held.

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The Player

gareth-farrelly-3Football at an elite level is fast moving – image rights, agent & transfer fees, player wages, sponsorship monies, ticket prices and so on increasing exponentially year on year. It shows no sign of slowing, nor will it as the increased cost of the global broadcasting rights counters the reduced price paid domestically.

With increased wealth in the game, not surprisingly, there are a far greater number of purported ‘professionals’ seeking access – Players, managers and agents take care!!

As a former professional footballer myself (and qualified lawyer) who suffered (and is still affected) at the hands of immoral and exploitative advisers, I speak from a position of personal experience and authority. I have a mission to root out negligent, bad advice in the sector.

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Escalate wins major collaboration award

escalate-team-one

Escalate, the ground-breaking commercial dispute resolution process, has been named ‘Best Collaboration Initiative’ in The Lawyer Awards 2018.

This is the second national award that Escalate has won in the past 12 months, having previously triumphed in the ‘Innovation of the Year’ category at the British Accountancy Awards last autumn.  The process was also highly commended at the recent Legal Week Innovation Awards.

Escalate helps SMEs to achieve a prompt settlement to a wide range of commercial disputes, with fixed fees payable only on a successful outcome and no upfront costs.

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What are my duties as a director?

michael_smeaton

If you are a director of a limited company in the UK, then you owe a wide range of duties to that company. Breaches of duty can give rise to personal liability and, in some cases, criminal sanctions so a proper understanding of your duties and responsibilities is essential.

Often, a director will be ignorant of his or her responsibilities (or some of them). Sometimes, a director will also be a shareholder and/or employee of the company and this can lead to confusion as to how the director is to exercise his or her powers. Both of these situations can lead to serious problems if they result in breaches of the director’s duties, whether those breaches are deliberate or not.

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