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What are the options for funding a management buyout?

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If you have been presented with an opportunity for a potential management buyout (MBO) at the company where you work, and you believe there is a strong future for the business, then one of your first and most pressing considerations will be the funding. ...

A tenant's guide to business leases and 'contracting out'

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If you take a lease of business premises, your landlord may ask you to ‘contract out’ of statutory rights that apply to business tenancies.  Before making that decision, you need expert legal advice to understand what rights you are giving...

I want my property back now please

Emily Watson
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Whether it’s a house, an office building, farmland or other type of property, where it’s occupied by somebody other than the owner, it’s in the interests of both parties that the terms under which it’s occupied are clear and...

Is your partnership agreement still fit for purpose?

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As a business owner in partnership with others, you probably took great care to consider the key issues and agree a carefully worded partnership agreement at the formation of your business.  But once signed, has this important document been filed away...

Heading off a dispute with a distributor

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Selling your goods in a new and unfamiliar market can be a risky and costly venture, but entering into a distribution arrangement with a separate distributor can provide your business with a route to market, giving you access to new customers without...

The role of NDAs and confidentiality clauses for a new supplier

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When appointing a new supplier there is often a dilemma over the issue of confidentiality. How do you strike the balance between sharing enough information to obtain the best deal without jeopardising confidential business information?   It is...

Top tips for negotiating a successful MBO sale

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If you are planning to sell your business to your management team, agreeing the terms of the deal is just the beginning. It is vital that you manage the management buyout (MBO) process from start to finish as you would any major project. At each stage there...

What are your rights when a commercial tenant goes bust?

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In challenging economic conditions, commercial property landlords must be prepared for tenants to hit financial difficulties and for some to go out of business.  If your tenant becomes insolvent, there are legal restrictions on the kind of action you...

Combatting Fly Tipping

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As the cost of living has bitten, the crime of fly tipping has also increased as more and more people, rather than paying the disposal costs of removing waste though legitimate means, dump it on the fields, tracks, gateways and woodlands of our countryside....

Promises, promises - when do you have a legally binding contract?

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While some business transactions are quick and simple, many involve protracted negotiations as you shop around for the best provider of goods or services and negotiate hard to get the best terms and conditions. Some businesses in your supply chain may have a...

NFU North East member free prize draw

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Crombie Wilkinson Solicitors has a free prize draw where 2 people* have the opportunity to each win a pair of tickets to the Kaleb Cooper tour night at the Barbican in York on 1 February 2024. UPDATE AS OF 6 DEC 2023 - the winners have been drawn and...

What is a FRI lease?

Emily Watson
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A full repairing and insuring (FRI) lease is one that places the responsibility of repair and maintenance of the premises onto the tenant. The tenant may undertake them directly or they may contribute to their cost by way of a service charge. The tenant must...

Top tips for preparing to sell your commercial property

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In a bumpy market, it pays to be well-prepared before you put your commercial property on the market. Your solicitor will help you to be ready for the kinds of questions you should expect from prospective buyers as they and their solicitors carry out due...

Solar panels - generating electricity on your commercial building

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Commercial landlords are increasingly keen to show that their buildings are sustainable.  With energy prices high and continuing uncertainty in the global energy markets, producing renewable energy on commercial buildings is more attractive than ever....

What is legal professional privilege?

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When you communicate with your lawyer, it is vital that those communications remain confidential, especially if your business is heading towards a dispute with another company that could end up in court. Equally, where evidence and information is gathered...

Controlling business risk with indemnities and clauses

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Indemnities and limited liability clauses are often the most negotiated provisions in business contracts. It is a fine balance between agreeing appropriate risk and allocating protections, while at the same time remaining reasonable in order to conclude the...

Terminating a commercial lease: Can you end a tenancy agreement early?

Elizabeth Sugden (nee Simpson)
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As a commercial tenant, what are your options for ending your lease early? There may be circumstances in which you wish to terminate your lease prior to the end of the period for which it was granted. This can be for several reasons, including if you...

Farming Joint Ventures

Ian Barnard
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It is common knowledge that it can be difficult for young farmers to get a foothold in agriculture, and with the average age of farmers in this country just under 60, at the other end of the scale, it can be difficult for those farmers looking to retire to...

How can a business remove a troublesome shareholder?

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There are many reasons why shareholders fall out. Most companies in the UK are small owner-managed businesses, which are family businesses or have been started out by friends with a common aim. Over the years people and priorities can change and no longer...

How to negotiate a turnover rent for retail premises

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Turnover rents are increasingly common in retail lettings.  In challenging times, they appeal to tenants because both the landlord and tenant share the risk of trade being adversely affected by the state of the wider economy.  Landlords would...

Liability of former commercial tenants and guarantors

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If your tenant defaults on the rent or breaches their commercial lease in some other way, you may be able to call on a former tenant or a guarantor to pay arrears or remedy breaches. This will only be possible if you follow the correct process and act...

What is first registration with the Land Registry?

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All properties in England and Wales can be registered with the Land Registry. If it’s not, then you can apply for first registration. This is simply the process of registering your land or property with the Land Registry. The Land Registry holds a...

Time for an ESG risk assessment?

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A company’s ‘ESG’ rating is an increasingly important factor when others make decisions to invest or do business with it, with ESG referring to ‘environmental, socio-economic and corporate governance’ factors. Stakeholders will...

Top tips for commercial tenants exercising a break clause

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If you are a business tenant, a break clause in your commercial lease gives you valuable flexibility to move out if circumstances change, but the law on break clauses is full of traps for tenants.  If you want to be certain of ending your lease...

Search and seizure orders

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When a business becomes aware that a potential legal claim may be heading its way, then it could be tempting for senior people to decide to destroy or alter key evidence which might be ordered by a court. For example, a court might request copies of...

Selling spare land on a commercial site

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If you own a commercial property which is larger than you need, selling part of it could be a good way to release value.  Before you start, it is vital to have a clear idea of how the division will work from a practical point of view. This will ensure...

To Licence or to lease?

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What could be simpler than allowing a friend, neighbour or a third party to use your field for grazing their animals? It is not as straightforward as it may seem and there are a number of different issues to consider, the first of which is whether you are...

Planning for success in a partnership merger

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Where there is a good cultural alignment, a merger can offer numerous benefits to two smaller partnerships, particularly in terms of sharing costs and resources, and access to economies of scale while potentially also reducing competition. ‘There are...

Could a trade mark protect your business on social media?

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While social media can be hugely beneficial for many businesses, it is not without its problems. Organisations have had to adapt to deal with unfavourable reviews, account hacking, data protection breaches, fake accounts and impersonation, use of their brand...

Buying your first commercial property

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Many would-be investors are drawn to commercial property.  Even in times of economic uncertainty, people like the idea of investing in bricks and mortar which can feel more real than a purely financial investment.  A commercial property can be the...

Key lease negotiation points for landlords

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Whether negotiating a new commercial lease, or renegotiating an existing one, it is important to plan ahead and be clear about your desired outcomes and where you have flexibility to compromise. Your negotiating position will be influenced by the...

What to look out for when buying shares in a business

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Investment in another business may be part of your business growth strategy, especially if you operate in the same market or supply chain. Acquiring a slice of the pie through the purchase of shares is one way to secure such an investment and may seem...

Recommendations for the reform of the tenanted sector

Amy Clarkson
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More than half of the farmable land in England is farmed by tenants and as such, tenant farmers clearly play a crucial part in our food production and land management. This has been recognised by a review that has recently been carried out by an independent...

Key points when negotiating a promotion agreement for your land

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If you own land which may have potential for development, or you have already been approached by a developer, the chances are you have considered the pros and cons of a promotion agreement.  This can be a great way for a landowner to benefit from a...

Pitfalls to avoid when commissioning bespoke software

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If you want software that is unique to your business, and which is specifically designed to meet your operational needs, then the commissioning of a bespoke solution is almost certainly the way to go. However, to ensure that your vision marries up to what is...

Crowdfunding as an alternative financing option

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Early-stage businesses often struggle to secure cost-effective funding and sometimes it may be tempting to look to alternative solutions, such as crowdfunding. It can serve different purposes all at the same time: raising capital, marketing, engaging...

Legal issues following major damage to your premises

Aoife Hennessy
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BT handled over 33 million 999 calls last year, of which a significant number would have led to the emergency services attending business premises. An emergency can arise from many foreseen and unforeseen situations, the most common being fire, flood,...

Allowing another person to use your land - licence vs lease?

Elizabeth Sugden (nee Simpson)
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If you have some land or buildings which are currently unused, you might consider allowing someone else to occupy the vacant area. Even if the arrangement is fairly informal, we always advise clients to take advice at the outset as to the most appropriate...

Developing on brownfield building land

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In a world where green space is increasingly valued for its role in fighting climate change, it makes sense to reuse previously developed sites, often referred to as brownfield land.  It may be easier to get planning consent to develop brownfield land...

Options for directors on a breach of the duty of good faith

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‘With great power comes great responsibility.’ This is an old adage that some say dates back to the first century BC, and which is as relevant today as it was at the time it was first conceived. It is particularly relevant in the context of...

Negotiating a commercial finance agreement

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If you need a cash injection for your business to help with growth costs, or to fund the purchase of plant and equipment, diversification, or expansion, then you will need to think carefully about the finance options open to you and their potential pros and...

Register of Overseas Entities

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Legal Update: The Register of Overseas Entities came into force on 1 August 2022, with the aim of making UK property ownership by foreign companies and entities clearer and more transparent. Generally speaking, foreign companies and entities who own, intend...

Could your business benefit from a business angel?

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Early-stage businesses often struggle to secure cost-effective funding, but sometimes funding alone is not enough to help them thrive, especially when expertise is critical to success. A business angel can provide both, and this could be a good solution to...

The Building Safety Act 2022

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Building Safety Act 2022 – impact on developers, contractors and landlords The Building Safety Act 2022 is the Government’s response to the tragic Grenfell fire, and the first parts of the Act came into force on 28 June 2022. While the focus...

Clarity on dates and time limits in commercial contracts

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Have you ever signed a contract which seemed to be perfectly clear, straightforward and reasonable at the time it was agreed, but which later turned out to be ambiguous in important respects or which gave rise to unintended and arguably unfair results? If...

Letting your tenant go: consenting to assignment and underletting

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If you are a landlord of commercial property, you will have chosen your tenants carefully.  A landlord wants to be sure that a tenant will pay the rent and service charge, and that the tenant will comply with the obligations in the lease so that the...

Facing an investigation for Covid-related business fraud?

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In response to the coronavirus pandemic, the Government made an unprecedented financial support package available for struggling businesses. Millions of enterprises took advantage of the help on offer, but because of the speed with which the various schemes...

Redeveloping commercial property around your tenant

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Redeveloping parts of a building in your portfolio, to create a more flexible layout or perhaps add additional floors, can be a good way to enhance investment value.  This is easiest in a vacant building, but you may have good tenants and want to...

Taking your first commercial lease

Paige Phillips
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Some of the world’s most successful companies have started at home or in a garage, but at some point, it makes sense to move to business premises.  Committing to your first commercial lease is an important step in the life of a young business and...

How green is your supply chain?

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Becoming or working towards being a greener business is nothing new, but the pressures are mounting to take environmental issues more seriously as an important corporate responsibility, and to show real action and commitment beyond just marketing puff. ...

Renegotiating a commercial lease

Elizabeth Sugden (nee Simpson)
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News stories about well-known retailers forcing landlords to renegotiate commercial leases as part of a voluntary insolvency arrangement have encouraged some tenants to ask for a better deal.  A lease is a formal contract and, unless a tenant is...

Buying a business: are you getting shares or asset?

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The opportunity to purchase a competing or complimentary business provides an important route to expansion, but it is important to be clear about what exactly you are acquiring in a business - whether this is via shares or assets. It is crucial that any...

Advice if you are asked to give evidence at court for a business

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Businesses may need to send someone to court for a variety of reasons; from recovering an unpaid debt or contractual overpayment, to defending a personal injury claim or tax action brought against them by HMRC. Whatever the circumstances, there will be a...

Agricultural Land - The benefits of being registered

Amy Clarkson
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A significant percentage of land in England and Wales is still unregistered and a large part of that is agricultural and rural land. Why?  Well, agricultural land often remains within the same ownership for decades and land which was purchased before...

Paid too much for an overvalued business?

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When the New York Times announced in February 2022 that they had bought the popular free to play word game Wordle for a seven-figure sum, there were a few raised eyebrows. How could a game that was only launched a few months earlier, which has never...

Buying or selling a business? It pays to agree key terms upfront

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Adrenalin may be running high if you are on the verge of buying a business or selling the company you have built from scratch.  You may have already sought professional advice regarding the company valuation but there are other critical issues on which...

Building Regulations update - Electric Vehicle Charging Points

Elizabeth Sugden (nee Simpson)
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New legislation taking effect from 15 June 2022 requires all new homes, construction projects, workplace, and retail buildings to install electric vehicle (EV) charging points. Currently, the UK lacks the electric charging infrastructure which is needed to...

Business disputes

Neil Largan
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Contractual rights v tortious remedies When a problem arises in a business relationship, many people mistakenly believe that the only thing they need to check in order to ascertain their respective rights and obligations will be the terms of any contract...

Renewing or extending your commercial lease

Ian Barnard
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When a commercial lease is due to end, both landlord and tenant will consider their business plans to decide whether they want to put a new or extended lease in place.  Many business tenants have an automatic statutory right to ask for a new lease when...

Resolving a commercial dilapidations claim

Aoife Hennessy
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It is not uncommon for commercial landlords and tenants to disagree about the extent to which repair, redecoration and reinstatement obligations have been complied with when a lease comes to an end. Disputes of this nature are known as a ‘dilapidations...

Risks and rewards with a personal guarantee

Ian Barnard
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The most common reason why a director will be required to provide a personal guarantee is because a lender or supplier perceives a level of risk in your business. Perhaps the lender is not confident that your business cash flow is liquid enough to fulfil its...

Securing access for a commercial property

Ian Barnard
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Once a commercial tenant has agreed a lease and moved into business premises, they will rely on having unobstructed access to easily enter the premises for the purposes of their business.  Unless premises sit alongside a public road, they will probably...

Buying offices as an investment

Ian Barnard
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The best investment property will be one where the fundamentals are right.  It should be in a suitable location, in sound structural condition, and ideally give you scope to upgrade and reconfigure the internal layout to appeal to a range of tenants. ...

Buying an asset-based business - what to look out for?

Ian Barnard
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If you are contemplating buying another business, then you will have been suitably impressed with the sale particulars.  But these do not tell the whole story and when you decide to acquire the assets of a business you will want to satisfy yourself that...

Excluding or limiting liability in B2B terms and conditions

Ian Barnard
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Setting out the terms upon which you provide your goods or services to another business will reduce the risk of a dispute by making clear the expectations on either side. But what if a dispute arises and a client or customer claims that they have suffered a...

Christmas trading - implications for landlords and tenants

Ian Barnard
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Retail, leisure, and hospitality businesses will be banking on a good festive season this year. Shops will want to stay open for longer and may want to add to their usual offer, to attract as much footfall as possible. Landlords with empty units will be...

Property and Land Law

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Key points to consider as part of your business and farming family resilience.   When considering the issue of resilience specifically in connection with your agricultural business there are certain points where our team of specialist land law...

Commercial property considerations for damage by insured risks

Ian Barnard
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Commercial landlords rely on insurance to cover the cost of repairing damage to their investment property beyond normal wear and tear, and business tenants expect a rent holiday if they cannot use their premises.  Many commercial landlords and tenants,...

New 'scope of duty of care' test in professional negligence claims

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Greater damages likely under new ‘scope of duty of care’ test in professional negligence claims.   In June 2021, the Supreme Court issued a judgment which has the potential to make it easier for clients who have received negligent...

Making your commercial property portfolio more sustainable

Ian Barnard
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Growing evidence of climate change has put sustainability firmly on the commercial property agenda.  Owners, occupiers, and lenders are increasingly focused on ‘ESG’ which refers to environmental, social and governance issues.  Lenders...

Rent moratorium, arbitration and recent judgment for landlords

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The Coronavirus Act 2020 currently prevents landlords evicting commercial tenants for non-payment of rent. This restriction will, in principle, remain in place until 25 March 2022. This rent moratorium was first introduced in March 2020 as part of the...

Landlord options if a tenant breaches repair obligations

Ian Barnard
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Making sure a commercial property is well maintained is one of a landlord’s key priorities, and it is almost as important as getting in the rent. Under a full repairing and insuring lease; the tenant is obliged to keep the property in a good state of...

Pitfalls to avoid in contract pricing in commercial agreements

Ian Barnard
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If you are a fan of Marmite or Hellman’s mayonnaise, you may recall a brief dispute that broke out between Tesco and Unilever in late 2016 which led to the supermarket temporarily suspending the sale of a range of popular branded products. The dispute...

Can I terminate a contract for late payment or a missed deadline

Neil Largan
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With the coronavirus still disrupting supply chains and causing financial difficulties, it is unsurprising that some trading partners are unable to meet their contractual obligations to provide goods, services, or remittance within previously agreed...

Business checklist for admitting a new partner

Ian Barnard
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If you have decided that the time has come to admit a new member to your partnership, then there are a number of important steps that you will need to take in preparation.     To help you plan, partnership law expert Ian Barnard, Director...

We are sponsors at the Yorkshire Post Country Week Conference

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The Yorkshire Post Country Week Conference takes place on Wednesday, 6 October 2021 starting at 10am. It is a virtual conference, free to attend and there will be the opportunity to put questions to all the panelists. To register and for more details...

Obligations under a full repairing and insuring commercial lease

Ian Barnard
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Keeping commercial property insured and in good repair is important for both landlords and tenants, but for slightly different reasons.  The tenant wants to be able to run a business from a well-maintained property.  The landlord’s chief...

Ecommerce refresher for retailers trading online in the UK

Ian Barnard
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Ecommerce is a fast-moving medium for retailers and, whether you have an established online presence or are just starting out, a periodic review of changes in the law and trading regulations can help ensure your business runs smoothly.     ...

Considerations for landowners relating to legal rights around water drainage and sewers

Ian Barnard
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Water, drainage, and sewers might be out of sight, but should not be out of mind for commercial property owners . The legal rights relating to water drainage in the UK are complex and important, especially for properties prone to flooding.  ...

Options for dealing with a problem landlord

Neil Largan
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According to the Hamptons Letting Index there has been an increase in first-time landlords entering the buy-to-let sector, with many enticed by the stamp duty holiday and low interest rates. Unfortunately, some property investors think being a landlord is a...

Recovery of commercial rent arrears accrued during the pandemic

Neil Largan
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Before the coronavirus struck, the options for landlords looking to recover commercial rent arrears were extensive.  Depending on the circumstances, you could use the statutory commercial rent arrears recovery procedure (CRAR), effect forfeiture by...

Secrets of success in manufacturing agreements

Ian Barnard
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Relationships with manufacturers can become the backbone of your business in the long term, which is why it is important to have legal agreements in place that will grow with these relationships.   ‘B efore any contract conversations even begin,...

Biomass boilers and NDRHI

Paige Phillips
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Biomass Boilers and the Non-Domestic Renewable Heat Incentive – How does the UK leaving the EU affect me? Many businesses, non-profit organisations and the public sector took advantage of the Renewable Heat Incentive (NDRHI) put in place by...

Legal advice on the sale or purchase of a business

Ian Barnard
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Selling a business ? Make sure you clear out any skeletons first.   Preparation is the key to success with most things in life and is particularly important when you are trying to attract a buyer for your business.  This is because any potential...

Halting court proceedings against my business

Neil Largan
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Can I halt court proceedings against my business, if no attempt made to resolve matters outside court first?    Where a dispute arises in business, it is always preferable if it can be resolved without the need to go to court. That is why an...

Extending your commercial property

Ian Barnard
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If your business is expanding, you may have outgrown your current premises.  Before you start looking for a new site, it is worth investigating whether you could extend your existing property.  Depending on the site and the nature of your building,...

Prescriptive Easements

Elizabeth Sugden (nee Simpson)
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What is a prescriptive easement?  An easement is a right for a third party to use someone else’s land for a specific purpose. If you have been continuously or regularly exercising a right for at least 20 years (such as a right of way, a right of...

Site assembly for development

Ian Barnard
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If you have a great idea for developing a piece of unused land, you may find that you need to get control of some neighbouring property to provide access or just to make the development large enough to be financially viable.  Assembling a site can be...

My neighbour has caused my property to flood what can I do

Neil Largan
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The risk of flooding in England and Wales is increasing year on year and exposing millions of homeowners to the possibility of property damage and the consequent misery that this causes.  In some cases, there is nothing you can do but try to claim on...

Best practice when using subcontractors

Ian Barnard
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Whether you are planning on using subcontractors for a one-off project or on a long-term basis, there are several steps you can take to safeguard both your business and business relationships.   Subcontractor checks ‘ The first step is to carry...

Do I need planning permission to graze horses?

Amy Clarkson
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On the face of it, using a field to keep horses is no different to keeping sheep or cattle in the field, so surely planning permission would not be required to use it for equine purposes. However, keeping horses on the land may be seen as a material change...

Resolving a commercial lease dispute in a recession

Neil Largan
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With the UK economy currently in the deepest recession since records began, disputes between landlords and tenants are beginning to rise as pressure mounts on commercial occupiers to find ways to diversify and slash overheads in order to survive...

Defending a claim that you breached your duties as a director

Neil Largan
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It is the thing that all company directors dread – the prospect of a claim of an alleged breach of duty – for this can give rise to personal liability or can result in the imposition of criminal sanctions or a director’s disqualification...

The key legal issues to take you from startup to scale up

Ian Barnard
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Starting any new business comes with a steep learning curve, especially as a founder when you often find yourself wearing all the management hats. This is why it is important to deal with the core legal issues early, so that when the time comes to scale up,...

Trainee Solicitor journey in law at Crombie Wilkinson

Emma Campbell
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We are pleased to be able to share blogs over the coming months written by our staff, talking about their job role, working at the firm and career progression at Crombie Wilkinson Solicitors. In this blog by Emma Campbell , Trainee Solicitor at Crombie...

Five key benefits of registering your farmland

Elizabeth Sugden (nee Simpson)
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Unregistered land is land which is not registered with the Land Registry. In order to prove ownership, the owner of the land must produce historical title deeds which are complex and can sometimes be ambiguous. The Land Registry estimates that approximately...

Legal tips for optimising the sale value of commercial property

Ian Barnard
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If you are reviewing your commercial property portfolio, you may decide that the time is right to sell some of your property.  It goes without saying that you will want to get the best possible value from the sale.  Prices are strongly affected...

Model Tenancy Agreement for renters with pets and landlords

Neil Largan
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Up until January of this year (2021), the usual position for a landlord and a tenant was that no pets are allowed in rental properties unless the landlord has provided consent, usually in writing and in advance.  Whilst this has undoubtedly been...

Update your commercial contracts for the post-Brexit regime

Ian Barnard
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While certain changes are already in place as a result of Brexit, we can expect a continuous stream of legislative reform that will affect businesses and their commercial contracts .   As the new trading relationship with the EU evolves, it is likely...

Agriculture Act 2020 Changes for landlord and tenants

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We know that our farming clients will have been paying close attention to the Agriculture Act 2020 (‘AA2020’), which aims to create a new post-Brexit agricultural framework. There are, of course, a vast number of topics which AA2020 covers, but...