Corporate And Commercial Solicitors
Straightforward legal advice for business
We know what you value from your commercial solicitors and we’ll help you achieve the successful outcome you want.
Our corporate and commercial team offers the full range of legal services giving a personal and consistent approach, delivered by experienced business solicitors. This makes us one of the leading commercial solicitors in the north west.
Our company solicitors provide proactive, straightforward business law advice giving you prompt, strategic and cost-effective outcomes.
The MLP team of business solicitors in Manchester will add value at every stage in the life of your business. Achieving successful outcomes for your business is, after all, what we’re all about.
Whatever the business challenges you face, we can provide sensible, legal advice to ensure you are able to achieve your business goals. Whether you need advice around a start up operation or how to protect your intellectual property, our team can assist you.
Similarly, if you are buying or selling a business, taking the right advice from legal experts early on in the process can make a huge difference in terms of time and financial investment.
By sitting down and talking through your business vision, we can identify anything that needs to be put in place to ensure you stay on track and focused on your commercial objectives.
Why not contact us to arrange a time to discuss your business plans? You can either meet us in our Altrincham or our Media City offices, or we can come to you.
Our commercial law services
We offer a range of legal services to cover all areas of business which include:
Latest MLP Law News
- August 11th, 2015Getting redundancies right as a small business: 10 key questions
Dealing with redundancies can be difficult for any business. Often it feels like a quick decision needs to be made to safeguard the business and the temptation to simply announce redundancies can be overwhelming. However, smart business owners realise that taking the time to properly plan a redundancy process can save a lot of hassle and a lot of money in the long run. To help you make sure you get it right when faced with a redundancy situation, we’ve set out below the key questions which employers should always bear in mind when it comes to redundancy: How do I know if there is a redundancy situation within my business? Generally a redundancy situation arises where there is a reduced requirement for employees. This will most frequently arise where: there is a closure of a business (or part of it) or closure ... Read More »
- August 3rd, 2015The National Living Wage
The first fully Conservative budget for 19 years took place earlier this month. One of the major talking points, at least as far as employment law is concerned, is the introduction of the National Living Wage. As with all developments in the workplace, this attracted a lot of coverage in the national press, which is unsurprising given that it has the potential to have a significant impact on employers and employees alike. To help you understand what this means for you or your business, lawyers in MLP’s Employment Department have broken down the truth behind the headlines: What’s going to happen?: From April 2016, workers aged 25 or over will receive a new premium on top of the National Minimum Wage (NMW), which will be known as the National Living Wage (NLW). This will initially be at a rate of £7.20 per hour, ... Read More »
- July 30th, 2015Woman wins £164k in Inheritance Tax battle – why writing a will is still worth it
This week saw Heather Ilott, estranged daughter of Melita Jackson, win a decade-long court battle with her mother (and £164k of her estate) after she left her entire estate to animal charities upon her death. The highly publicised legal battle has been the debate of many news outlets and forums over the past week, with many questioning the point in even making a will, if it can be overturned in this way… It’s true that more wills are being contested than ever these days. This could be attributed to the rising divorce rate which is leading to more complex family structures, teamed with the fact that people in this day and age tend to be leaving more wealth. But why, in this case, did the courts overrule the wishes of a women who, in sound mind, had expressly stated she didn’t ... Read More »
- July 22nd, 2015Is your business too reliant on key individuals?
A few months ago, the media was awash with stories about Jeremy Clarkson’s unceremonious dismissal (or “non-renewal of his contract” as the BBC described it) from his position as host of Top Gear. If truth be told, we didn’t learn a great deal from the countless commentary pieces we saw, each of which simply set out how the BBC should have gone about its disciplinary process. We didn’t learn a lot because that side of things was all fairly straightforward, surely?: a man (allegedly) assaults his colleague whilst working on location and is dismissed for gross misconduct. What could be more simple? Except it never looked like it was going to be that simple and the reason for that was obvious – this man, whether you like him or hate him, was the face of the BBC’s most commercially successful output, a ... Read More »
- July 7th, 2015Do endorsements or online reviews contribute to your business’ success?
If they do, then you need to consider the Competition and Markets Authority’s (CMA’s) recent report on its call for information on online reviews and endorsements. It launched its call for information in February 2015 when it became aware of the potential for misleading or distorting messages being sent out to customers. The aim of the call for information was to better understand the use of endorsements and online reviews, and also to see how the content of reviews and endorsements could be influenced. Why does it matter? Keeping abreast of law in this area is important because if you unintentionally mislead customers then you could be breaching consumer protection laws and industry advertising standards. The CMA is a particularly important organisation to take note of because it has enforcement powers, and it can use its findings to lobby for legislative change, often ... Read More »
- June 16th, 2015What is a Deputy?
When someone has lost mental capacity and they do not have a Power of Attorney in place then you can apply to the Court of Protection to become that person’s deputy. This means that you will be authorised by the Court of Protection to make decisions on their behalf. This is extremely useful to families when they need to care for loved ones who aren’t able to look after themselves. What type of Deputy can I be? There are two types of deputy and you can apply to be one type of deputy or both. The property and financial affairs deputy will provide you with the power to handle such things as paying bills, organising a pension and buying food. The personal welfare deputy is able to make decisions about medical treatment and how someone is looked after. You may also be able ... Read More »
- May 21st, 2015Top 5 things to think about when considering a shareholders agreement…
What are the top 5 things you need to think about when considering a shareholders agreement? If you are considering setting up a company with family and/or friends or entering into a joint venture, you should consider putting a shareholders agreement in place. The company’s Articles of Association (it’s rule book) will give some basic guidance. Standard Articles will not deal with the finer detail so as to provide sufficient clarity and certainty as to what can, or cannot be done within the business. A shareholders agreement (which ideally ought to be put in place in the early stages) can: reduce the potential for conflict, lead to much greater protection of a shareholders investment, set out various guidelines as to how the business is governed and remain a private document. You should carefully consider the following questions before putting a shareholders agreement in ... Read More »
- May 20th, 2015New research shows unpaid invoices are costing UK SMEs thousands
Last year it was estimated that UK SMEs employed 15.2 million people and had a combined turnover of £1.6 trillion. These enterprises have an extremely important role to play in driving growth and creating jobs, and are often described as being the ‘lifeblood’ of our economy. That said, SMEs often face huge challenges, particularly concerning cash flow. Research we recently conducted found that, quite startlingly, SMEs in the UK are losing thousands of pounds and days of resource annually as a direct result of overdue invoices. We conducted the research in the hope that it would help shed some light on the extent of the cash flow problem in UK businesses. Indeed, latest figures from Bacs Payment Schemes found that SMEs across the country are facing a £8.2bn annual shortfall as a direct result of unpaid invoices. Our research attempted to delve deeper ... Read More »
- May 19th, 2015What should you do if you receive a letter from Getty Images on copyright infringement?
Getty Images, Inc. is an American stock photo agency who supply stock images for business and consumers with an archive of 80 million still images and illustrations and more than 50,000 hours of stock film footage. Since 2008, Getty Images has created controversy in its manner of pursuing copyright enforcement on behalf of its photographers. Rather than pursue a policy of sending out “cease and desist” notices, Getty typically mails out a demand letter claiming substantial sums of damages to owners of websites which it believes have used their images in infringement of their photographers’ copyright. So what do you do if you get a letter from Getty? First of all, are you guilty? For copyright infringement to take place, the owner of a copyrighted work will need to establish that either of the following acts are done in relation to a substantial ... Read More »
- May 13th, 2015General Election – Employment Law Consequences
In the aftermath of the Conservative win in the General Election, MLP’s employment team review the party’s pre-election promises for signs of what employment law developments may be in store in the next few years: Exclusivity clauses in zero hours contracts will be banned, although this falls short of the outright ban which the Labour Party had promised. The National Minimum Wage is set to increase to £8.00 by 2020, starting with an initial rise to £6.70 by November 2015. The tax-free personal allowance will increase to £12,500. If the 2020 National Minimum Wage increase comes to fruition, this will mean that people who work for 30 hours a week will pay no income tax at all. Entitlement to free childcare for working parents of all three and four year olds will increase to 30 hours. Trade union reforms are planned to prevent what the ... Read More »
- April 23rd, 2015#BeatStephen: We made it!
So that’s it – the marathon is over and this is my final #BeatStephen blog. It’s such a relief to say that we made it across that finish line and all our hard work paid off. Now I’m just trying to get over the pain in my muscles – something which was definitely expected after battling through those gruelling 26.2 miles. I was extremely nervous during the build-up between Saturday night and Sunday morning and I didn’t sleep as well as I’d hoped. But nonetheless, Sunday morning did arrive and it was soon time to make my way over to the starting line. My finishing time was four hours and 17 minutes, but I think I probably started off a little bit too quick. I completed the first ten miles in one hour and 33 minutes and the second ten in one ... Read More »
- April 7th, 2015#BeatStephen: The big day is nearly upon us!
There’s just two weeks left to go until the ASICS Greater Manchester Marathon and I’m certainly starting to feel the pressure. When I set foot out of the door on a cold and rainy Sunday for a ‘long’ three mile run in November, it didn’t feel like April would ever arrive. Sure enough, I set foot out of the same door four months, 20 weeks, 280 miles, 50 runs and one pair of shoes later into a very wet and cold Sunday morning for my considerably longer run of 20 miles. This time I start my runs feeling happier, lighter, confident and keen to get going. What a massive difference this is to when I first began my training! If you’re reading this and you’re running the Manchester marathon, or any other marathon for that matter, then I want to say ... Read More »
- March 26th, 2015Holiday Pay and Commission – what’s the latest?
Yesterday, an Employment Tribunal found that the Working Time Regulations 1998 must be interpreted as if it had additional wording which states that commission should be included in the calculation of holiday pay. This finding follows a period of uncertainty during which it was unclear whether UK legislation on holiday pay was compatible with a previous ruling made by the European Court of Justice that commission payments must be included in the calculation of holiday pay. It is therefore now beyond any doubt that employers are required to include commission in holiday pay paid to their employees. The difficulty at present, however, is that it remains unclear precisely how the commission should be calculated, including the reference period which should be taken into account when calculating commission for the purposes of holiday pay. However, whilst the Judge did not specifically decide upon ... Read More »
- March 13th, 2015Are you a fast growing business in the Technology, Media or Telecoms sector?
If you answered yes then you should consider entering our newly launched awards – ‘TMT Class of 2015′. We’ve set up the awards to recognise excellence within businesses in the UK’s dynamic Telecoms, Media and Technology (TMT) sectors. The awards are open to all businesses formed in or after 2010 that are thriving in today’s fast-growing digital landscape. We’re hoping that the awards will help us forecast what the TMT landscape might look like in 2020, and the businesses that are likely to shape its future, by looking at those that have set the bar high and excelled in their sector since inception. We’ll judge entrants on a number of metrics including innovation, creativity, key business achievements and future vision. The TMT sectors are elemental in the growth of our economy and we hope that the awards will help uncover some of the ... Read More »
- March 11th, 2015The importance of financial disclosure when getting divorced
According to a recent survey almost 25% of people seek to hide some of their assets when negotiating divorce settlements. The only reason for doing so is to frustrate a potential claim by the former spouse. Whilst the news comes as no surprise to any experienced family lawyer, it does pull into sharp focus just how widespread the problem is. I have lost count of the number of times a client has walked into my office to tell me that their other half has proposed to do things without solicitors “to save money”. This usually sets alarm bells ringing. In most cases of this nature we subsequently discover that there are assets or investments which were not known about at the outset, often of significant value. Full financial disclosure is vital to ensuring that any settlement is fair and reasonable. Quite often ... Read More »
- March 11th, 2015And the future is…MEDIATION!
Court proceedings can be very expensive and time consuming. Period! No matter how strong your case, litigation is never without risk. The Civil Procedure Rules which govern how litigation is conducted in England and Wales make it clear that court proceedings should be a last resort. Mediation is a form of alternative dispute resolution involving an independent third party (a mediator) whose role is to work with the parties at 1 venue usually during the course of a day, to achieve an acceptable settlement for everyone. This ends any existing court proceedings or avoids them completely. The savings achieved by a successful mediation in terms of costs and management time are enormous. We are experts in mediation. We know exactly what to do and when to do it. We will guide you seamlessly through the process from advising on the optimum time to mediate ... Read More »
- March 10th, 2015Rise In Court Fees – The Answer!
On 9 March 2015, the way in which Court fees in both specified and unspecified money claims are charged dramatically changed. Significantly, the fee to issue proceedings for the recovery of money on claims worth £10,000 or more is now 5% of the value of the claim, capped at a maximum fee of £10,000. So a claim for £20,000 now costs £1,000 to issue. This is a court fee increase of £390. A claim for £150,000 now costs a staggering £7,500. Previously the court fee was £1,315. Where the value of the claim is not identified or exceeds £300,000, the court fee payable is £10,000, a fee increase of £8,080! Whilst the money raised from these increases is reportedly going towards improving court services, the Ministry of Justice is already under pressure from The Law Society to rethink. In the meantime, savvy claimants coming to ... Read More »
- March 3rd, 2015Essential things you need to know about Design Rights and Registered Design
If you have created a new design of a product, you are going to want to protect it from others trying to steal your creative idea! We have summarised a few key things you should know to make sure your design is protected. What types of protection is there for my design? There are two types of protection for your design – design rights and registered design rights. Design rights are automatic whereas registered designs need to be applied for (both of these are subject to criteria being satisfied). What protection is given? Design rights provide the design with protection from copying for 10 years whereas registered designs are given 25 years of protection. What criteria needs to be met? For design rights, you need to satisfy the following criteria: The design must be a product (not a 2D design as these are copyrighted); and It must ... Read More »
- February 27th, 2015#BeatStephen: We’re halfway there!
I’m just over halfway through my training now and things have been going really well – I’ve been increasing my pace at a good rate and I’m even comfortably upping the distance I’m running regularly, too. Unfortunately though, I have learned the hard way just how much a simple cold can affect your training. I caught a bug last week and my progress had to be put on hold. When I started to feel under the weather, it really became quite a challenge to keep running whilst suffering with a sore throat and a blocked nose. I decided to give myself a few days off to recover, but it’s been a difficult one to shift and I’ve lost some vital running hours! Nonetheless, I’m now back on track and determined to carry on with increasing the distance. I completed a 12 mile ... Read More »
- February 16th, 2015Do house husbands get a raw deal on divorce?
Our head of family law, Theo Hoppen, asks: Do house husbands get a raw deal on divorce? Based on a recent family court decision, I would say “yes”. The court awarded Rupert Nightingale, a house husband and freelance photographer, a lump sum of £300,000 along with maintenance of £50,000 a year as part of his divorce settlement from his ex-wife. Mr Nightingale gave up his job 11 years ago to provide stability for the family and support his wife in her chosen career. He is also the main carer of their daughter who is at primary school. His ex-wife, Kirsten Turner, earns £420,000 a year as a partner at PWC accountants. The maintenance that the court ordered amounts to only 12% of her income and she can still afford to buy a £1.3 million property post-separation. The court ruled that Mr Nightingale in fact had ... Read More »
- February 13th, 2015What should SMEs expect from party manifestos?
It’s often said that small and medium sized enterprises are the engine room of the economy; for the UK to thrive, SMEs need to thrive. With the UK general election in sight it’s important for small and medium sized businesses, as well as entrepreneurs, to pay particular attention to upcoming party manifestos and what they will mean for SMEs. Although it’s difficult to know what they will say we can make some predictions to what they might include. At the start of 2014 there were an estimated 5.2 million businesses in the UK and small and medium sized companies accounted for 60% of this number. With more than half the business sector being taken up by SMEs the new party manifestos cannot fail to offer some significant pledges to help these all important enterprises. In this election year, the economic recovery is ... Read More »