Based in Glasgow and Lanarkshire, and working throughout Scotland, Austin Lafferty Solicitors is a corporate law firm that acts for a substantial number of companies, firms and partnerships across a wide variety of trade and business sectors.
At Austin Lafferty Solicitors, our team of corporate and commercial lawyers provide tailored legal advice to a wide range of companies across the Glasgow area.
We act for large corporates, smaller start-ups, and everything in between. We have sector-specific experience in a number of industries including hospitality, entertainment, the licensed trade, retail and wholesale.
Whether you are a sole trader, a partnership, or a limited company, we have a wealth of knowledge and experience in supporting businesses of all structures.
Full spectrum of services
We are a full-service firm which means we can provide advice across the entire spectrum of corporate and commercial activity including mergers and acquisitions, business disposal, restructuring, shareholder and partnership agreements, succession planning and refinancing. We also advise on more day-to-day matters such as commercial property lease agreements, corporate contracts, employment law, and pensions & tax.
We have particular expertise in working with small to mid-sized and high-growth businesses and take great pride in being their legal counsel, supporting them as they flourish and achieve their goals.
We have long-standing relationships with many of our clients, with most seeking out our knowledge and experience in any major business venture they undertake.
Indeed, we prefer this ‘prevention is better than the cure’ approach to corporate and commercial legal advice. When we know a business inside out, we are able to stay ahead of the curve and help prevent issues arising in the future. That may be ensuring a new business premises lease is watertight, ensuring senior management has corporate power of attorney in place, organising general company secretarial matters, or negotiating the best possible terms for a management buyout.
Legal and regulatory advice by sector
Depending on the industry in which a business operates, there may be legal and regulatory issues to be aware of. We can support businesses in getting an understanding of these matters and if required, provide full administrative support in this area, freeing up the company to go about business as usual.
We pride ourselves on offering practical solutions that protect a business’s interests and do so in a clear and straightforward manner. We know that legal jargon can get in the way of getting the job done, so we always aim to distil complex legal issues into everyday language that everyone can understand.
Whether you’re running a business, running a team within a business, or are the sole in-house lawyer, dealing with new legal matters, you will need a corporate and commercial law firm who is on your side and by your side throughout all of your business's undertakings.
For expert advice on all aspects of corporate law and commercial law, contact Austin Lafferty Solicitors today to book a free initial consultation.
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Businesses issues that may require legal advice
Businesses are born, live and then eventually pass away, and just as in our own lives it is sensible to plan ahead and organise for the best chance at a successful future, the same is exactly so with businesses. Here are some specifics:
How is the business constituted? Perhaps it started with one man or woman who had worked for a big soul-less company and decided they would make more money working for themselves than for an employer. As time went by, they took on an employee of their own, and now there are say 23 employees. But what happens if the sole trader dies, or is hospitalised, or wants to retire? Should he/she not consider bringing in partners and some capital? Should he/she/they consider forming a limited company, for the tax and protection advantages?
Does the business own the shop/factory/showroom/restaurant? Or is it rented? What would be best, and what’s possible? Are the terms of the Lease clear, or can they be renegotiated? Could either an alternative holding be negotiated, or different premises acquired? Is there merit in expanding and taking on more premises? Are the current premises too big? Might it be a good idea to sublet part of them?
What will happen when the owner, or one of them, wants to retire, or emigrate, or leave the business to do something else? Is there a written partnership agreement that sets out who is due what money in any of those events, and/or what happens to the remaining partners/employees, directors? Have the partners made wills and granted powers of attorney in case of tragedy or accident?
What is the legal relationship the business has with its customers? Does it protect the business or not? Are deals done verbally or by way of a tightly-drawn contract or form? What would happen if one of the partners or directors decides to leave and tempts customers/clients away?
Does the business have robust and effective contracts of employment with its workers? Do the owners understand their responsibilities on health & safety, discrimination, training? Do employees understand their responsibility to the business and are they rewarded in such a way that they will always act to its benefit? Is the structure of management and other staff sensible and effective?
Does the business create goods, services or knowledge which are worth protecting? Are there financial assets in the business that are not recognised and valued correctly? Does the business at large own the intellectual property or does a director or partner personally own these rights? Is the name and branding of the business worth money, and safely tied up exclusively?
What would happen to the business if the senior partner or managing director falls ill or dies? If the remaining partners want to carry on the business, how do they pay out the estate of the deceased partner for the capital he owned in the firm? Has the company considered the benefits and costs of key man insurance and the tax advantages in arranging it?
How do you go about acquiring a rival, or another business that is ripe for takeover? How do you prevent (or encourage) being taken over yourself? What happens if another business tries to encroach on your territory or taps your customers?
These 8 topics are only some of the many issues and questions businesses have to ask themselves day and daily. And whilst business owners may be able to answer some of them and deal with these challenges successfully, all are the stuff of legal advice and solicitor services.