Commercial Law Services and Business Solicitors - mlplaw

Commercial Law:
Your Trusted Partner for Business Transactions and Disputes

At mlplaw, we understand that every business is unique, with its own set of challenges and objectives.

That’s why we take a personalised approach to every case, working closely with you to understand your specific needs and goals.

Whether you’re a start-up looking to establish solid legal foundations or a multinational corporation seeking strategic advice, we’ll tailor our services to meet your requirements effectively and efficiently.

Email our
Commercial Team

Call Us

0161 926 9969

Our expertise in the following areas

Technology, IT, Software and Digital

At mlplaw we recognise the critical role that commercial contracts and technology play in today’s business landscape.

Our expert solicitors are here to provide you with comprehensive legal support tailored to your commercial and technology needs.

We can help with:

  • E-commerce legal advice;
  • Software As A Services (SaaS);
  • Cloud and Subscription services (PaaS, IaaS);
  • Software Development;
  • Software Licensing;
  • Outsourcing;
  • Research and Development, Joint Ventures and Collaboration;
  • Regulatory
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Business Affairs and Succession Planning

We specialise in helping clients build their businesses and achieve successful exits – maximising value and making any transaction as smooth as possible.  Critical to the success of any transition – family businesses to next and future generations, and business owner exits – is having clear and up to date plans and arrangements in place for your business. Our business and succession planning experts provide support across all aspects of your personal and business affairs, including:

  • Corporate governance
  • Succession planning and management
  • Business continuity planning
  • Shareholder and partnership agreements
  • Exit strategies and business sales
  • Family business transition planning, family charters and legacy building
  • Tax-efficient succession and estate planning

Why is succession planning important for businesses?

Succession planning is crucial for businesses to ensure a smooth transition of leadership and ownership, minimize disruptions during changes, and preserve the long-term viability and legacy of the business.

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Brand and Business Protection

In this ever-growing and ever-opening marketplace, it is increasingly important to safeguard your brand and business assets.

At mlplaw we offer a comprehensive suite of legal strategies including:

  • Trademark registration and enforcement
  • Copyright protection and commercialisation
  • Brand management and protection
  • Intellectual property audits and strategy
  • Anti-counterfeiting measures
  • Trade secret protection and non-compete agreements
  • Defending any allegations of infringements

How can businesses protect their brand and intellectual property assets?

Businesses can protect their brand and intellectual property assets through strategies such as trademark registration, copyright protection, patent filings, trade secret protection, confidentiality agreements, and enforcement of intellectual property rights against infringers.

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Outsourcing, Joint Venture and consultancy agreements

If you need to collaborate with other businesses or individuals to carry out your business, we offer services to help optimise these strategic partnerships, helping you to collaborate whilst protecting your interest.

These include:

  • Drafting and negotiating outsourcing agreements
  • Joint venture agreements and strategic alliances
  • Consultancy and advisory agreements
  • Service level agreements (SLAs) and performance metrics
  • Risk assessment and management

 

What factors should businesses consider when entering into joint venture or consultancy agreements?

Businesses should consider factors such as the objectives and scope of the collaboration, the allocation of responsibilities and resources, the distribution of profits and losses, intellectual property ownership and licensing, confidentiality obligations, and exit strategies.

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Confidentiality Agreements (NDAs)

At some stage you will need or receive a confidentiality agreement (or NDA) to sign. We can help with producing or reviewing an agreement that fits your needs. Our experienced commercial solicitors can help with:

  • Producing an agreement that suits your needs, including the suitability of provisions such as non-compete or non-solicitation (non-poaching) of customers, or employees;
  • Protecting highly valuable information;
  • Sharing information for limited purposes;
  • Protecting discussion around forming business relationships including R&D, collaboration and Joint Venture agreements; and
  • Breach of agreements and dispute resolution.

Why are confidentiality agreements (NDAs) important for businesses?

Confidentiality agreements are used by businesses to protect sensitive information, trade secrets, and proprietary data from unauthorised disclosure or use by third parties. This helps them to safeguard their competitive advantage, business strategies and reputation.

Data protection

Our specialist data protection solicitors protect our clients across a wide range of data protection issues in the UK and around the world. Our practical, commercial advice covers many areas, including:

  • Data Protection and GDPR compliance;
  • Appropriate policies – stand alone or alongside commercial agreements and business relationships;
  • ICO queries or dealing with a data breach or data leak; and
  • Dispute resolution.
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Website terms and privacy policies

It is a legal requirement to have your website terms of use, cookie and privacy policies available and agreed by visitors to your website.  There is an ever increasing need to ensure your terms and policies stay up to date.  This is especially important when it comes to privacy and your policies surrounding use of visitor and customer data.

Ensuring your online presence complies with legal standards, our Commercial team provides expert guidance on:

  • Drafting and updating website terms of use
  • Amending terms to have more client-focussed ‘friendly’ wording
  • Creating comprehensive cookie and privacy policies
  • Compliance with GDPR and other data privacy laws
  • Handling user data requests and rights

What are the key elements of an effective website terms of use agreement?

An effective website terms of use agreement should include provisions regarding your client/customer’s rights and responsibilities, your intellectual property rights, clear limits to parties’ liability, your privacy policy (or a link to it), and mechanisms to resolve any disputes that might arise. It should be written in plain English and serve to protect all parties, giving peace of mind when entering into the agreement.

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Commercial Contracts and Trade Agreements

Facilitating smooth and secure business transactions, we our commercial law specialists cover:

  • Drafting, reviewing, and negotiating commercial contracts
  • International trade agreements and cross-border transactions
  • Sales and purchase agreements
  • Agency and distribution agreements
  • Joint venture and partnership agreements
  • Compliance with trade regulations and sanctions

What should businesses consider when entering into commercial contracts and trade agreements?

To protect their interests and ensure compliance, businesses should carefully consider key terms such as pricing, payment terms, delivery obligations, warranties, intellectual property rights, mechanisms to resolve disputes, addressing exclusivity or territorial restrictions, and clarity around termination of the contract.

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Supply, Agency and Distribution Agreements

If you operate a business that involves using third parties to carry out certain elements of your business, it’s crucial to ensure that your supply chain operates seamlessly and effectively.

Our Commercial team provides expertise in:

  • Drafting and negotiating supply agreements
  • Agency agreements and representative contracts
  • Distribution and franchise agreements
  • Logistics and transportation contracts
  • Risk management and liability clauses
  • Dispute resolution and contract enforcement
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Franchising

If you operate a franchise business or wish to franchise out all or part of your business, our Commercial team provides services to support the growth and success of your franchise network such as:

  • Franchise agreement drafting and review
  • Franchise disclosure documents
  • Franchisee onboarding and training
  • Intellectual property protection for franchises
  • Compliance with franchise regulations
  • Dispute resolution and franchise termination
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Competition Law & International Law

Competition Law can affect every business and a wide range of business relationships. Our expert competition law solicitors advise on the full range of issues relating to private organisations. We provide practical commercial advice on all aspects of UK, EU and international competition law through our trusted worldwide network of law firms, including:

  • Issues around distribution, franchising, or licensing;
  • Anti-competitive agreements;
  • Assessing impacts of mergers or acquisitions (including Market Share tests);
  • Merger control;
  • Abuse of a dominant position; and
  • Dispute Resolution.
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Our Team

Stephen Attree

Managing Partner - Corporate, Commercial, IP and Disputes specialist

Rachel Owen

Partner - Corporate

Shaista Kauser

Partner - Disputes Resolution

Karen Delamore

Partner - Corporate and Commercial

Ella Coverley

Solicitor - Corporate, Commercial and IP

Amelia Denton

Trainee Solicitor - Corporate, Commercial and IP

Max McGenity

Trainee Solicitor – Commercial, IP and Dispute Resolution

Stephen Attree

Managing Partner - Corporate, Commercial, IP and Disputes specialist

Stephen is the Managing Partner of mlplaw and has over 25 years’ experience advising on all aspects of contentious and non-contentious business law and business ownership. Recommended in both Legal 500 and Chambers & Partners, Stephen is renowned for his ability to quickly identify a client’s successful outcome and to then relentlessly pursue that outcome.

Stephen has developed a particular specialism in digital, technology, healthcare and family owned businesses. He covers all areas of business law and ownership, including commercial litigation and private disputes, and together with his corporate and commercial team provides advice on all aspects of the law relating to mergers, acquisitions, financing, re-structuring, complex commercial contracts, standard trading terms, share options, shareholder and partnership agreements, commercial dispute resolution, joint venture and partnering arrangements, IT and Technology law, Intellectual Property, EU and competition law, Brexit, Data Protection and GDPR.

Stephen spent over 10 years at a leading city firm before moving to mlplaw which he acquired through a MBO in 2014. He continued to develop the firm as a boutique corporate and commercial firm with a specialist private client offering renowned for the quality of its people and its first class client service. During that time Stephen has published a book “Family Business Succession – the options and pitfalls” and raised significant amounts of money for charity.

Stephen works closely with mlplaw’s leadership team to implement improvements and innovations that enhance the service we provide to clients and that make mlplaw an even greater place to work.  This includes a collaborative and innovative approach to pricing including aligning our charges to the outcomes delivered for clients and monthly retainers that covers all our services and a full commitment to hybrid and flexible working and an impressive, flexible, benefits package.  He champions our “Do the Right Thing” initiatives especially our Equality, Diversity and Inclusion efforts and supporting our chosen social enterprises and charities with free advice.

Email: stephena@mlplaw.co.uk
Phone: 0161 926 1524

Rachel Owen

Partner - Corporate

Rachel is a highly experienced Corporate lawyer who joined mlplaw in 2019 from a national law firm and now leads the Corporate Team.

Rachel’s main area of work is mergers and acquisitions covering share and asset acquisitions and disposals, but includes management buy-outs, investments, group re-organisations, demergers, joint ventures, shareholders agreement, articles of association, cross options, share capital arrangements, corporate governance, employee ownership schemes and share incentive schemes.

She has a pragmatic approach and understands client’s priorities and objectives. She assists with the day to day needs of business clients.

Rachel has gained particular experience in the Insurance and Healthcare sectors, but acts for clients from across the spectrum.

Email: rachelo@mlplaw.co.uk
Phone: 0161 926 1579

Shaista Kauser

Partner - Disputes Resolution

Shaista is a highly experienced Solicitor, having qualified 23 years ago. Shaista specialises in commercial litigation matters, and before joining mlplaw, she worked in well-known large city centre firms before later establishing her own practice.

She has represented a large variety of clients across numbers of sectors on a broad spectrum of disputes to provide clients greater depth of knowledge and experience in contentious matters to individuals, owner managed businesses, SME’s, high net worth individuals, directors/shareholders, property developers and charities.

Shaista has extensive experience in litigation, including experience as an advocate in the County Courts, regularly advising on high value complex contractual disputes, property litigation (claims for possession, rent arrears, breaches, dilapidations, service charge disputes), company and partnership dispute, high value debt recovery, professional negligence claims, claims against lawyers, property and finance professionals.

Shaista offers a down to earth and proactive approach to provide solutions and resolve disputes, and possesses extensive knowledge of various Alternative Dispute Resolution methods.

Outside of work, Shaista enjoys spending time with her daughters and reading.

Email: shaistak@mlplaw.co.uk
Phone: 0161 926 1534

Karen Delamore

Partner - Corporate and Commercial

Karen has broad and extensive experience in corporate and commercial law and particular expertise in equipment leasing and asset finance, both working in law firms and in- house positions.

Karen studied French and Russian at Oxford University before attending Chester law school and training in a London law firm. She relocated, shortly after qualifying, to Paris and spent several years working in the Paris branch of the London law firm, specialising in shipping and aviation finance where her clients included French banks ,a leading Irish aircraft lessor and a major French shipping company. She returned to the UK in 1998 and spent 12 years as senior counsel in GE Capital’s European equipment leasing business and (after its sale from GE ) 4 years for TIP Trailer Services working on major customer leasing transactions and disposals and acquisitions of related businesses . Prior to joining MLP Karen was a partner in a national law firm. In her spare time Karen enjoys golf, yoga, dancing and learning Spanish.

Email: karend@mlplaw.co.uk
Phone: 0161 926 9969

Ella Coverley

Solicitor - Corporate, Commercial and IP

Ella joined mlplaw in 2019 as a paralegal in the Corporate and Commercial team providing advice to businesses and private individuals. Ella’s particular interest lies with the company/corporate side of the department.

Previous to her employment with mlplaw, Ella spend over 12 years in Event Management before she decided to go back into education and study law.

Ella graduated from the University of Manchester in 2017 and finished her LPC with the University of Law.

Outside of work Ella spends most of her time with her family enjoying theatre breaks and weekend trips around the UK.

Email: ellac@mlplaw.co.uk
Phone: 0161 926 1512

Amelia Denton

Trainee Solicitor - Corporate, Commercial and IP

Amelia completed her LPC with a distinction in 2021 with the University of Law. Whilst studying for both her LLB and LPC, Amelia gained experience working as a legal assistant both in practice and in-house. It was during this time and experience that emphasised her particular interest within commercial law.

Amelia is a valued member of our Commercial, IP and Dispute resolution teams, she advises on all aspects of contentious and non-contentious business law. Amelia hopes to develop her knowledge and skills further enabling her to progress at MLP Law, ultimately qualifying as a solicitor.

Outside of work Amelia enjoys trying different restaurants, watching live music and attending comedy clubs, country walks and spending time with family and friends.

Email: ameliad@mlplaw.co.uk
Phone: 0161 926 1528

Max McGenity

Trainee Solicitor – Commercial, IP and Dispute Resolution

Max is a Trainee Solicitor in the Commercial, IP and Dispute Resolution team and works with a variety of clients such as owner-run businesses, national corporations and private individuals.

Having joined mlplaw as a Corporate Paralegal in November 2021, Max has built up experience in this area and hopes to continue developing his Business Services skillset.

Max graduated from the University of Oxford in 2014 and has since been a manager at a national education charity and started his own business as a Personal Trainer and Yoga Teacher. He completed his LPC and LLM at BPP University Manchester, having gained legal work experience at both a mid-sized Liverpool practice and a large London firm.

Having stepped away from the fitness industry to return to the law, Max’s love of exercise continues outside of work; he is a regular gym-goer and a fan of physical challenges. He also enjoys live music and comedy, and a good pub quiz.

Phone: 0161 926 1523

Why choose us

1. Expertise and Experience

Our Partner-led teams have decades of experience in assisting all types of businesses and business owners in different transactions and offer a first-class experience.
We are also a Legal 500 recommended  team.

2. Our Approach

Providing comprehensive business legal services to all shapes and sizes of businesses in a dynamic and interpersonal way, our commitment to you is reliability, flexibility, honesty and transparency.

3. Collaboration

Taking time to understand you and your business and working in tandem with you and in collaboration with other experienced teams within the business (ie. Employment, Commercial, Property, Disputes) to achieve results in an effective manner.

Testimonials

“Stephen and his team of experts at MLP have been advising us since 2014 on areas ranging from commercial transactions and the legal due diligence around them to employment law, commercial disputes, and property. Always prompt to respond, I’ve found the help and advice I’ve received over the years is accurate, with the balance of risks clearly explained, but always accompanied with recommendations that are in a commercial context. Added to this, the personal and cheerful touch that is always present in their service makes them a delight to work with. I’d highly recommend them!”

-MG, Review Solicitors

Very efficient and responsive in engaging clients, keeping them up to date on the progress of matters, and responding to queries.

-Legal 500

“Stephen is great at simplifying situations and explaining legal processes in basic terms so that you are able to understand and make the right decisions for your business. He is responsive and supportive as well as extremely knowledgeable. We have used Stephen on two occasions and were delighted with his expertise and service given. I wouldn’t hesitate in recommending him to anyone needing commercial, legal support for their business.”

– LD, Review Solicitors

A really great multidisciplinary team able to handle my firm needs, I have dealt with many solicitors in over fifty acquisitions and MLP stands out as pragmatic and proportional with sound, hands-on advise.

-Legal 500

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