What does commercial law cover?
Commercial law is an umbrella term that refers to the body of law governing the rights and relations of businesses engaged in trade, either with the public directly or with other businesses. It is one of the most important areas to consider when setting up or running a business, as it can have a huge impact on the success of the business. Commercial law is intended to support business and covers all legal issues that may arise in the course of its operations no matter how large or small. Such issues include:
- Business structures and formation
- Business Contracts
- Copyright and Patent Law
- Property and Business Leases
- Competition law, mergers and acquisitions
- Data Protection
Establishing a new business involves a range of complex issues but one of the most crucial is getting the structure right from the outset, which will impact the rights and obligations of the business regarding tax, succession, and employment.
We can help you make the right choice when setting up your business, whether by partnership, joint venture, company, trust, or franchise. If you are looking to restructure your business, we can help with partnership dissolutions and corporate restructures.
Business contracts include franchise agreements, distribution agreements, agency contracts and employment contracts. Ensuring the terms and conditions of business contracts are accurate, whether for the supply or purchase of goods and services or employing staff, is essential to avoid fines, directorship disqualification or even being liable for criminal or other damage.
Having your legal contracts prepared or reviewed by an experienced commercial lawyer can help to ensure that the contract terms and conditions are suitable for your business and that due diligence standards are met.
Complying with all relevant data protection laws is an increasingly heavy burden on small and medium sized businesses. Accordingly, businesses need to be aware of the legislation regarding data transfer agreements, data retention, privacy notices, the new and complex GDPR Regulations as well as the Data Protection Act.
Business succession and asset protection
Businesses should have a plan in place to make sure that business and personal assets are protected. We can work with your business and family to devise a plan that keeps your hard-won assets safe through the unit, discretionary and family trusts, Wills and/or Powers of Attorney.
Unfortunately, it is almost inevitable that in the course of running a business, disputes are likely to arise at some point. Knowing how to navigate and manage such disputes can be key to ensuring the long-term success of the business. The following types of disputes are common:
- Advertising and marketing
- Information or data protection
- contractual disputes
- consumer claims
- commercial and retail leasing disputes
- partnership and shareholder disputes
- debt recovery
- banking disputes
- intellectual property disputes
The parties to a commercial law dispute may comprise incorporated businesses, partnerships, government bodies or others such as consumers and suppliers or sole traders.
We offer dispute resolution services and commercial litigation covering a wide range of problems that may be encountered in your business.
Alternative Dispute Resolution
Many disputes are resolved through alternative dispute resolution processes such as mediation, conciliation, and negotiation. Various ombudsmen and other schemes now exist specifically to help resolve business disputes satisfactorily and we can help in preparing for these hearings. Alternative ways of resolving a dispute is almost always preferable since it will be a cheaper and quicker option to going to court.
Commencing Court proceedings should usually be a last resort. Our approach is to first attempt to resolve a dispute through negotiation and, only when this is not successful, prepare a case carefully for litigation. This will involve a comprehensive review of the facts and the evidence and a reasonable assessment of the possible outcomes. Most commercial disputes are heard in Commercial Court or in county business courts when the dispute relates to that particular jurisdiction. It is important to understand the relevant processes, the range of awards, the likelihood of winning the case or successfully defending a matter, and the relevant cost implications.
Whether you are starting or growing a business, looking for general advice, planning to buy or sell a business, or involved in a dispute, our experienced commercial law team can help. We offer practical legal solutions to individuals, small businesses and SMEs. Our business legal services can help get business startups and microbusinesses off to a good start, and help nurture and sustain more established businesses and corporate enterprises.