Successful corporate and commercial work is built on trusted relationships and expert knowledge. In a fast changing regulatory environment, every business needs a commercially aware legal team with a broad range of legal specialisms working in partnership with you. And that’s what we offer our clients.
We’re at the centre of lots of great deals and deal-making. As well as this, we’re involved every day with some of Scotland’s best known businesses, energy and property companies, healthcare organisations; sporting institutions, charitable bodies and educational establishments.
One of our key areas is working with family businesses of all sizes. We have worked with many businesses across several generations of one family, acting not only as trusted corporate advisers but as family advisers using specialists from across the whole firm. We also have a specialism in helping businesses set up Employee Ownership Trusts (EOTs) where business owners are considering retirement.
One of the real benefits for our clients of being part of a large law firm offering all legal specialisms is that the corporate and commercial team can draw on expertise in other key legal areas. We can put together multi-disciplinary project teams to deliver our clients’ goals - UK, international or EU and Brexit related.
Acting as trusted and multi-skilled adviser defines our approach, and enables clients to achieve their outcomes. In addition, our team’s strong working relationship with EU and international law firms has helped clients capitalise on major growth opportunities in recent years.
To receive our daily property and business news bulletin, Sector Knowledge, sign up here
How can we help?
Commercial contracts are at the heart of business. From negotiation to signing, you need an objective and focused business law partner on your side to help deliver success. It’s about ensuring proper allocation of risk in a fast and efficient process and getting your goods and services to market.
When we are involved in drafting and negotiating commercial contracts, our goal is always to get the very best result for our clients. Pinpointing the right approach is a key part of what we do and requires a genuine insight into the workings of your business and understanding what you are aiming to achieve.
Our areas of expertise include agreements on investment, distribution, franchising and licensing and contracts for supply, collaboration and much more. The areas of commercial contracts we cover is large and diverse. It includes goods and services, distribution agreements, franchising, food and drink, energy and much more. The breadth of our experience helps make us the natural choice if you want an edge in any negotiations.
Employee Ownership Trusts
An increasing number of business owners considering their retirement are opting to sell their company to their employees using an Employee Ownership Trust (EOT). The EOT can be a tax effective route which allows the owner to set the pace of their exit, provides continuity to employees and customers, and delivers a fair market value on the sale of the company.
Our Corporate Team has specialist expertise in this area and has advised on a number of significant EOTs. Mediascape Ltd is just one example of a successful employee owned business which we helped - read more here.
There is no one form of employee ownership. There are a number of key attractions of the EOT structure:
- it can be shaped to fit the aspirations of the company’s shareholders
- sellers can sell all or a percentage of the shareholding (although the EOT’s tax advantages only apply when a controlling stake is held by the Trust)
- opting for the simplicity of a Trust only model; or
- some form of share scheme to allow employees to invest directly in the business.
There are so many possibilities and every company is different.
What we do
We start off by getting a full understanding of what the sellers want to achieve, and how that fits with the plans for the business. Working together, we then look at all the available options and decide on the best model. We can spend time with employees, explaining how the new ownership structure impacts on them. As part of a full service law firm, we can call on all areas of our business to help with any ancillary legal matters.
The tax advantages make the EOT an attractive option for the employee owned company but there are other ways to share ownership with employees. Some companies are using employee ownership not for exit, but as a means to more closely engage and incentivise their employees in the business. Anderson Strathern can advise on identifying the most tax-effective and appropriate means to attract, retain and motivate your employees.
Forming strategic alliances allows companies to deliver key objectives while working together to share risk. As part of a large law firm covering the full range of legal services and expertise, it is our mission to bring people together to do business in a way that benefits all. We seek out opportunities for our clients and understand the importance of being able to help clients develop specialist services through joint ventures which they might otherwise note have been able to do. Our experience and client base across the Scottish business sector gives us unrivalled experience in delivering personal and carefully-judged advice. By getting to know and understand our clients, we are able to identify precisely what type of joint venture works for them.
Entrepreneurs are the next generation of business and wealth creators. Whatever the spark or the creative impulse, we are able to bring together all the essential services needed to turn your idea into a business reality. IP, copyright, contracts, angel investment, finance, tax, premises and technology – it’s all covered by our creative and future industries team based at the heart of our corporate and commercial department.