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Bermans further develop their sport & entertainment offering

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Simon Taylor, a leading sport and entertainment solicitor, has joined Bermans as a partner and head of their Sport & Entertainment team.

Simon, who will be based in Bermans Manchester office, has more than 30 years’ experience and specialises in representing clients within the motorsport and festival/event industries providing a full range of legal services.

He has an international reputation within motorsport acting for national governing bodies & their insurers, circuits, clubs, teams, drivers and motorcycle riders. Since joining Bermans, Simon has negotiated contracts for the 2019 season for F1 drivers and team personnel. He also has unrivalled experience of representing clients at hearings before the FIA International Court of Appeal and National Motorsport Courts worldwide.

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Residential Conveyancing: range of costs

Bermans property team offer a personal conveyancing service for the following types of residential property:

  • Freehold sale or purchase
  • Leasehold sale or purchase
  • Mortgages or re-mortgages

Our conveyancers are experts in guiding you through the legal process and you can be safe in the knowledge that they are supported by our larger commercial property team.

Whether you are buying or selling or refinancing we can provide you with cost certainty and confidence that you are in safe hands.

We provide a list of our headline rates below but we like to provide a specific quote to suit your needs so do get in touch and we will provide a fixed fee quotation.

Description Value/Amount of Property (£) Fees
Purchase or Sale 60,001 – 120,000 £650.00 + VAT
Purchase or Sale 120,001 – 250,000 £795.00 + VAT
Purchase or Sale 250,001 – 350,000 £895.00 + VAT
Purchase or Sale 350,001 – 500,000 £995.00 + VAT
Purchase or Sale 500,001 – 600,000 £1,195.00 + VAT
Purchase or Sale 600,001 – 800,000 £1,295.00 + VAT
Purchase or Sale 800,001 – 1,000,000 £1,495.00 + VAT
Purchase or Sale 1,000,001 – 2,000,000 £1,795.00 + VAT
Purchase or Sale 2,000,001 – £3,000,000 £1,995.00 + VAT
Purchase or Sale 3,000,001 – 4,000,000 £2,495.00 + VAT
Purchase or Sale 4,000,000 – 5,000,000 £3,500.00 + VAT

 

Description Value/Amount of Property (£) Fees
Re-mortgage 60,000 – 250,000 £250.00 + VAT
Re-mortgage 250,001 – 500,000 £350 + VAT
Re-mortgage 500,001 – 750,000 £550 + VAT
Re-mortgage 750,001 – 1,000,000 £750 + VAT
Re-mortgage 1,000,000 £1,000 + VAT

 

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Employment Law: Post TUPE variation of contract

Mr Tabberer and his colleagues were electricians. They were originally employed by Birmingham City Council. Their employment transferred several times by way of TUPE (Transfer of Undertakings (Protection of Employment) Regulations 2006) over the years. At the time of the tribunal claims, they were employed by Mears. The employees were contractually entitled to receive an Electricians’ Travel Time Allowance, though the historical reasons for the allowance no longer existed. Mears varied the employees’ contracts to remove the allowance, saying it was outdated.

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Probate: Range of costs (with fixed fee for additional work)

Applying for the grant, collecting and distributing the assets

The exact cost of this service will depend on the individual circumstances of the matter. For example, if there is one beneficiary and no property, costs will be at the lower end of the range. If there are multiple beneficiaries, a property and multiple bank accounts, costs will be at the higher end. Total costs are estimated at £1298 – £2950 (+VAT).

We will handle the full process for you. This quote is for estates where:

  • There is a valid will
  • There is no more than one property
  • There are no more than two bank or building society accounts
  • There are no other intangible assets
  • There are two – three beneficiaries
  • There are no disputes between beneficiaries on division of assets. If disputes arise this is likely to lead to an increase in costs
  • There is no inheritance tax payable and the executors do not need to submit a full account to HMRC
  • There are no claims made against the estate

Disbursements included in this fee:

  • Probate application fee (£155)
  • Swearing of the oath (£7 per executor)
  • Bankruptcy-only Land Charges Department searches (£2 per beneficiary)
  • Post in The London Gazette and local newsletter – Protects against unexpected claims from unknown creditors (£300.15)

Disbursements are costs related to your matter that are payable to third parties, such as court fees. We handle the payment of the disbursements on your behalf to ensure a smoother process.

As part of our fee we will:

  • Provide you with a dedicated and experienced probate solicitor to work on your matter
  • Identify the legally appointed executors or administrators and beneficiaries
  • Accurately identify the type of Probate application you will require
  • Obtain the relevant documents required to make the application
  • Complete the Probate Application and the relevant HMRC forms
  • Draft a legal oath for you to swear
  • Make the application to the Probate Court on your behalf
  • Obtain the Probate and securely send two copies to you
  • Collect and distribute all assets in the estate

Potential additional costs

  • If there is no will or the estate consists of any share holdings (stocks and bonds) there is likely to be additional costs that could range significantly depending on the estate and how it is to be dealt with. We can give you a more accurate quote once we have more information.
  • If any additional copies of the grant are required, they will cost £0.50 (1 per asset usually).
  • Dealing with the sale or transfer of any property in the estate is not included.

How long will this take?

On average, estates that fall within this range are dealt with within 2-12 months. Typically, obtaining the grant of probate takes 6-16 weeks. Collecting assets then follows, which can take between 8-12 weeks. Once this has been done, we can distribute the assets, which normally takes 6-8 weeks.

Contact us to discuss your probate requirements.

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Employment tribunal: Range of costs

Our pricing for bringing and defending claims for unfair or wrongful dismissal (excluding disbursements and Counsel’s fees).

Simple case: £8000 to £10,000 (excluding VAT)

Medium complexity case: £10,000 to £20,000 (excluding VAT)

High complexity case: £20,000 to £75,000 (excluding VAT).

Factors that could make a case more complex:

  • If it is necessary to make or defend applications to amend claims or to provide further information about an existing claim
  • Defending claims that are brought by litigants in person
  • Making or defending a costs application
  • Complex preliminary issues such as whether the claimant is disabled (if this is not agreed by the parties)
  • The number of witnesses and documents
  • If it is an automatic unfair dismissal claim e.g. if an employee is dismissed after ‘blowing the whistle’ on his/her employer
  • Allegations of discrimination which are linked to the dismissal

Disbursements

Disbursements are costs related to your matter that are payable to third parties, such as medical experts. We handle the payment of the disbursements on your behalf to ensure a smoother process.

Counsel’s fees

We would generally instruct a barrister to represent you at the Employment Tribunal hearing. Barristers’ fees are broken down into two areas: i.) a Brief fee, which covers their preparation for the hearing and the first day of the hearing and ii.) a Refresher, which covers each additional day after the first day of the hearing. Brief fees are estimated to be between £850 to £5000 plus VAT (depending on the level of experience of the Barrister, the complexity of the case and the length of the hearing). Refreshers are estimated to be between £700 to £1250 plus VAT (depending on the level of experience of the Barrister).

Key stages

The fees set out above cover all of the work in relation to the following key stages of a claim:

  • Taking your initial instructions, reviewing the papers and advising you on merits and likely compensation (this is likely to be revisited throughout the matter and subject to change)
  • Entering into pre-claim conciliation where this is mandatory to explore whether a settlement can be reached;
  • Preparing claim or response
  • Reviewing and advising on claim or response from other party
  • Exploring settlement and negotiating settlement throughout the process
  • Preparing or considering a schedule of loss
  • Preparing for (and attending) a Preliminary Hearing
  • Exchanging documents with the other party and agreeing a bundle of documents
  • Taking witness statements, drafting statements and agreeing their content with witnesses
  • Preparing bundle of documents for the Tribunal hearing
  • Reviewing and advising on the other party’s witness statements
  • Agreeing a list of issues, a chronology and/or cast list
  • Preparation and attendance at the Final Hearing, including instructions to Counsel

The stages set out above are an indication and if some of stages above are not required, the fee will be reduced. You may wish to handle the claim yourself and only have our advice in relation to some of the stages. This can also be arranged on your individual needs.

How long will my matter take?

The time that it takes from taking your initial instructions to the final resolution of your matter depends largely on the stage at which your case is resolved. If a settlement is reached during pre-claim conciliation, your case is likely to take four to six weeks. If your claim proceeds to a Final Hearing, your case is likely to take between six and twelve months. This is just an estimate and we will of course be able to give you a more accurate timescale once we have more information and as the matter progresses.

Contact us to speak to a member of the employment team.

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Employee Ownership Trusts

What is an employee ownership trust (EOT)?

An employee ownership trust (EOT) is a trust established for the benefit of the employees of a business. Selling a majority stake in your company to an EOT will mean that your employees will have an indirect interest in the business, potentially leading to increased performance and commitment, as well as a number of additional benefits:

  • A disposal of a majority shareholding in a company to an EOT will generally be free of capital gains tax, income tax and inheritance tax.
  • Bonus payments of up to £3,600 per year can be made to employees of the business, tax-free.
  • Full market value for the shares can be realised by the selling shareholders.
  • The shareholders do not have to sell all of their shares, so can continue to have a stake in the business, and can remain as directors of the company post-sale.

In order to sell shares to an EOT and realise the benefits outlined above, a company (which must be a trading company or a holding company of a trading company) will usually be incorporated to act as the trustee of the EOT. The relevant company and the EOT trustee will enter into a trust deed, under which the property held by the EOT trustee, such as the shares in the company, are held for the benefit of the company’s employees.

The company’s shareholders will then agree to sell more than 50% of the shares in the company to the EOT Trustee. Depending on how the transaction will be funded, the purchase price may be left payable on deferred terms so as to allow the dividends received by the EOT trustee from the trading company to be used to pay the purchase price.

What is required to qualify?

In addition to the requirement that the relevant company must be a trading company, there are certain additional requirements which must be met in order for the transaction to qualify for the tax treatment benefits:

  • The “all-employee benefit” requirement. The terms of the trust must not permit the trust property to be applied other than for the benefit of all the business’ employees, to transfer the property to another trust, or to make loans to the trust beneficiaries.
  • The “equality” requirement. Any distribution from the trust fund, or payment under a bonus scheme, must be for the benefit of all eligible employees, on the same terms.
  • The “controlling interest” requirement. The EOT trustee must hold at least 50% of the ordinary share capital, voting rights, profit entitlement and entitlement to assets on a winding-up.

What are the benefits?

You will appreciate this tax-efficient structure provides another exit opportunity to management alongside trade sale, traditional MBOs (VIMBOs, MBIs, etc.), listings and asset sales. This allows management partially to de-risk their investment and unlocks tax-free capital to invest elsewhere.

Bearing in mind the succession issues experienced by owner-managers since the financial crisis of 2008, this structure is well worth considering as part of clients’ financial planning.

This structure is also well suited to professional service firms where ownership and capital value may be barred due to the high cost of buy-in. Using this method would incentivise and tie in valuable members of teams and ensure a fruitful final exit for management and employees

How can we help?

If you would like to discuss the benefits of implementing an EOT structure, we would be happy to discuss it further with you. Bermans can assist in all aspects of the transaction, including:

  • Setting up the company to act as the trustee of the EOT.
  • Preparing the trust deed between the company and the EOT trustee, detailing the terms on which the company’s shares will be held for the benefit of the employees.
  • Preparing the constitutional documents of both the company and the EOT trustee.
  • Drafting and advising on the share purchase agreement relating to the sale of the shares to the EOT trustee.
  • Advising on any documents or structures relating to the funding of the transaction.

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Debt recovery: Range of fixed fees

Court Claims

These costs apply where for a basic template based claim for an unpaid invoice which is not disputed and enforcement action is not needed. If the other party disputes your claim at any point, we will discuss any further work required and provide you with revised advice about costs if necessary, which could be on a fixed fee (e.g. if a one off letter is required), or an hourly rate if more extensive work is needed.

Debt value Court fee Our fee (excl. VAT) Total
Up to £300 £25 £95 £120
Up to £500 £35 £95 £130
Up to £1,000 £60 £115 £175
Up to £1,500 £70 £125 £195
Up to £3,000 £105 £125 £230
Up to £5,000 £185 £125 £310
Up to 9,999.99 £410 £145 £555
Over £10,000.00             Request Quote

Anyone wishing to proceed with a claim should note that:

  • The VAT element of our fee cannot be reclaimed from your debtor.
  • Interest and compensation may take the debt into a higher banding, with a higher cost.
  • The costs quoted above are not for matters where enforcement action, such as the bailiff, is needed to collect your debt.

Our fee includes:

  • Taking your instructions and reviewing documentation
  • Undertaking appropriate searches
  • Sending a letter before action
  • Receiving payment and sending onto you, or if the debt is not paid, drafting and issuing claim
  • Where no Acknowledgment of Service or Defence is received, applying to the court to enter Judgement in default
  • When Judgement in default in received, write to the other side to request payment
  • If payment is not received within 7 days, providing you with advice on next steps and likely costs

Matters usually take 6-8 weeks from receipt of instructions from you to receipt of payment from the other side, depending on whether or not it is necessary to issue a claim. This is on the basis that the other side pays promptly on receipt of Judgement in default. If enforcement action is needed, the matter will take longer to resolve.

Please contact us for more information.

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The impact of Brexit on contracts

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As Brexit draws near, the question of how it will affect business and the need to know your contractual rights is ever more important.

Some questions you may ask yourself:

  • What happens if the borders are clogged up and I cannot deliver or receive goods
  • Who will be liable for tariffs in the event of a hard Brexit
  • Should I look at amending existing contracts or terminating contracts with a view to issuing new contracts
  • Will you have to register with a UK authority in place of an EU one?
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