Condition precedent – what, why, when ?


Definition A condition that must be fulfilled before a second event can take place – “Precedent” means that it must come first or before some other act before a Contract can be fulfilled and both parties are required to fully comply with their obligations. Condition precedents usually apply in business contracts but the legal principle READ MORE

Pre-emption rights for shares


A pre emption right in its most basic form is the right for an existing shareholder of a company to either exercise its rights in relation to an issue of new shares or purchase shares from an out going shareholder. Pre-emption rights are often expressed to be in relation to the percentage of shares already READ MORE

Dividends – knowing the law will pay dividends


Dividends are a vital aspect of company law and an essential part of many investments in small and in some cases very big companies. Payment of dividends is the main mechanism whereby shareholders get an annual return on their investment. However, there are many complexities with dividends, both from a  legal and accounting perspective. The READ MORE

Basic legal tips for shareholders


Do shareholders have to meet in order to make a decision ? Subject to certain exceptions, the answer is no, as long as the correct procedure under the Companies Act 2006 is followed. The exceptions to this rule include some major decisions such as removing a director and such a decision has to be made READ MORE

Insolvency related legal tips including company administration


When is a company considered insolvent ? This is not an easy question to answer.  However, the law states that a company is insolvent when it can no longer afford to pay its debts or when the company’s total liabilities are greater than its assets. It is important to keep accurate recordings in order to READ MORE

Online businesses – what laws apply to virtual business ?


What law applies to virtual businesses ? Many laws that apply to traditional “bricks and mortar” businesses also apply to virtual businesses.  Virtual businesses are still expected to comply with basic contract law and where there is any divergence statutory law will step in and invalidate any unfair contractual terms. However, virtual businesses are subject READ MORE

Setting up a limited company – the practicalities


Deciding to start a business is both a daunting and exciting prospect. It is important to ensure that the business structure that you choose is the correct one for you and your business. Aside from the fundamental decision about whether to limit personal liability, which is clearly a key reason to opt for a limited READ MORE

Minority shareholders – what they need to know


Minority shareholders and company law Minority shareholders can generally be outvoted by the majority in relation to important decisions of a company and can therefore suffer prejudice. Much however depends on whether actions have been taken to deliberately prejudice the minority shareholder or shareholders as against the legitimate power and influence which can be used READ MORE

Waiver – an important legal principle explained


What does waiver mean in contract law? Waiver can be defined as a voluntary relinquishment of legal rights that a person or organisation would normally have if the waiver did not exists.  Although waiver is commonly referred to in contract law and particularly is a concept often related to breach of contract, it is a READ MORE

Legal aspects of a family owned business


Many owner run SME’s are family owned and managed businesses. Whilst in the first generation this can often work well, as the ownership of the company is passed through to the next generation problems often occur. The lines between family and business can become blurred and relationships strained. Many family businesses grow organically over the READ MORE