Corporate & Commercial
We are forward thinking.
Our trusted corporate lawyers and commercial lawyers—many of whom are City trained—are experts in M&A and business law. Working with our colleagues in our other teams, we bring together a wealth of experience of helping clients in many different sectors. Quite simply, we enjoy what we do. This is why, as your trusted business advisors, you can count on us to give you the advice you need, when you need it, no matter how complex the business issue.
Running a business is tough, buying or selling one is even tougher. At Downs, our corporate and commercial lawyers recognise this. This is why we get to know your business and give you practical, no-nonsense advice, which you don’t need a legal dictionary to understand.
There are a number of complexities around any business transaction, including mergers and acquisitions, corporate finance and restructuring, right through to emerging areas of business law. Our corporate lawyers have a depth of experience and a breadth of understanding which enables us to produce rigorously-researched solutions to the most complex business issues.
Our business lawyers have been helping our business clients protect their commercial interests for many years in the major areas of business law including:
More from the Downs Blog
At the press conference on the 5th July, the Prime Minister announced the relaxation of the regulations on the 19th July subject to a review of the latest data on the 12th July. If the regulations are relaxed, then employees will be able to return to the office on the 19th July.
The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme commenced in March 2020 and was implemented to help businesses during the pandemic. The Scheme allowed employers to place employees on furlough and only pay them 80% of their wages up to a maximum of £2500.
The Government’s roadmap identified that until England reached Step 4 of the Roadmap, employees should work from home where they can. As we are aware Step 4 has been delayed from 21st June to 19th July 2021 and therefore, employers should continue with home working wherever possible until the 19th July.
British Gas has been in the media over recent weeks due to the “fire and rehire” approach with their employees.
I own a start-up which grew very quickly and a few years ago I hired in a couple of senior personnel to help run the business. After 5 years, one of these senior hires is now leaving the business and going to a company which isn’t a direct competitor but operates in a very similar field.
When shared parental leave was introduced in 2015, one of the concerns was whether an employer would need to offer enhanced shared parental leave pay if the employer provided enhanced adoption and/or maternity leave pay.
The Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy undertook a report into domestic abuse and the workplace. The report identified that the number of domestic abuse cases had increased during the pandemic and that 1 in 5 victims of domestic abuse had time off work. Sadly, research found that few employers were able to identify the signs of domestic abuse and/or had policies or procedures available to help support survivors.
As the UK eagerly tuned in to the most anticipated Budget for a generation, many were left wondering what the Chancellor’s traditional “rabbit out of a hat” might contain - especially as several big measures had been announced beforehand.
The WHO defines good mental health as: “a state of wellbeing in which every individual realises his or her own potential, can cope with the normal stress of life, can work productively and fruitfully and is able to make a contribution to his or her community.”
Under new government guidance, you should work from home if you can effectively do so. However, some employers may ask their employees to return to work whilst restrictions are in place - particularly if it is not reasonable to carry out that work at home. For those who are concerned about health problems, or juggling childcare, where do you stand in the eyes of the law?
The third lockdown in England legally came into force on 6 January 2021. How long it will last is uncertain. At least until mid-February and possibly until late March. Vaccination provides a route out of the pandemic, but businesses need to survive this final and possibly longest of the lockdowns.
During these uncertain times, it is good to know you can count on us.
Even after the recent Government announcement of another national lockdown we remain open for business and are here to help you.
On Thursday 5 November 2020, the Chancellor announced that the furlough scheme is to be extended until the end of March 2021. During this period you will be able to claim up to 80% of an Employees salary up to a cap of £2500.
The Chancellor announced over the weekend that the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) that was due to end on 31st October will be extended until 2nd December. The level of support available under the extended scheme will mirror that of what was available under the CJRS in August, with the Government paying 80% of wages up to a cap of £2,500.
The Chancellor announced on Thursday 22 October that the Government contribution to employers’ wage costs under the Job Support Scheme (JSS) will be increased. Employers will be expected to pay 5% of the cost of unworked hours instead of the 33% originally announced.
Back in the summer the Chancellor announced that employers could receive a one-off payment of £1,000 for every employee who had previously been furloughed under the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme provided they remained continuously employed to the end of January 2021. Businesses will be able to claim the Job Retention Bonus from 15 February 2021 and the Government has stated that further guidance will be provided by the end of January 2021.
What is a family investment company (FIC)?
FICs are companies limited by shares (an “Ltd” or “Limited”) often setup by parents or grandparents (“Founders”) to benefit both themselves and their family as shareholders. Their popularity has increased in recent years, being seen as a corporate alternative to the more common discretionary trust.
With new government guidance on Covid coming into force today and the current furlough scheme coming to an end next month, as expected, the Chancellor has today announced a new scheme to help businesses.
You must meet certain day-to-day responsibilities if your business is covered by the Money Laundering Regulations or if you just want to protect your business from such risks and work on a best practice basis. These include carrying out ‘customer due diligence’ measures to check that your customers are who they say they are.
We've woken up to the news this morning that, following a public vote in a general election, the Conservative party will be forming a government after winning the biggest majority vote in over 30 years.
Talks surrounding the possibility of a shrinking economy are increasing by the day, however, according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS), the UK might just avoid a recession.
No sooner have we published a blog about British Airways’ largest GDPR fine on record, we find another story in the news.
Whilst writing wills or nominating an individual for a Lasting Power of Attorney, protecting physical assets, such as property or cash, might be the first things to spring to mind. But, in an increasingly digital age, what about any online assets to an estate?
British Airways (BA) looks set to face the largest GDPR penalty by the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) of £183m for last year’s data breach that put 500,000 customers’ details at risk.
In all the excitement of a new partnership or business venture, sometimes we forget the serious side too. Fact is, without a non-disclosure agreement, or NDA as it is more commonly known, you risk exposing some of the valuable, and saleable, secrets of your success
One of the biggest IT changes on the horizon for us as professionals is the impact blockchain technology will have on the way we work. This note attempts to shed a little light on what it is and how it may be applied.
Whilst the jury is still out about how Britain-of-the-future will look after March 2019, but still, the headlines continue to tell us of companies that have been blighted by Brexit.
As we count down the days until the Chancellor’s Autumn Budget here are a few things to expect – as well as a few of the need-to-knows.
The new General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) came into force on 25 May this year. It, together with the Data Protection Act 2018 (DPA 2018), replaced existing laws in the UK relating to data protection and became an obligatory requirement across the whole of the European Union. Even though this had been bubbling away in the news for several months, there were concerns that businesses remained relatively in the dark about what they had to do. In the end, the majority of cases saw a last-minute scramble to implement the new regulation – and it appears to be still on-going.