Wednesday, 17 June 2015

Terms and conditions apply

Companies are being reminded to spell out their terms and conditions on every single order – even when they are dealing with long-time clients.

Andrew Oranjuik, from the commercial team at Martin-Kaye solicitors in Telford, said there could be dangers in becoming comfortable and less formal with established customers.

“No matter how informal your arrangement may be, terms and conditions will only apply if they are confirmed in writing and clear for all to see.

“If you have developed a close working relationship with another company, you may receive orders placed in a variety of ways – and not always in the most traditional of situations.

“Some might be sent by email, others by fax or over the telephone, and some may be given during face-to-face meetings or in more relaxed conversations.

“There’s nothing wrong with this approach, but a recent High Court case has shown that you can’t automatically rely on standard terms and conditions – they need to be included in your agreements for every single deal.

“It’s not enough for them to be printed on the flip-side of a purchase order either. They must be referred to on the front too – and if you’re sending orders by email, you’ll need to attach them as a PDF document.”

Andrew said the message was that, if companies do not make it clear they will be relying on their own standard terms and conditions for each individual order, they cannot be relied on.

“The fact that your companies may have been doing business for years makes absolutely no difference in the eyes of the law,” he said.

“And if the business relationship dates back many years, you may even find that you’ve never actually sent the other company a copy of your standard terms and conditions, so they can’t possibly be expected to know what they are.”

Tuesday, 16 June 2015

Award-winning lawyers celebrate title

Lawyers from a Telford legal firm have won yet another national award for their commercial litigation expertise.

Experts from Martin-Kaye Solicitors have been recognised in the International M&A Awards run by Acquisition International Magazine.

And their success follows hot on the heels of their Midlands Litigators of the Year award just 12 months ago.

This year they’ve been awarded the Excellence in Contract Focused Commercial Litigation UK title, which is a real coup for the team.

Senior Partner, Graham Davies, said: “This latest title is confirmation that we really do punch about our weight when it comes to the competition, and that the very best legal advice is available outside the major cities in the UK thanks to practices like Martin-Kaye.

“We’re extremely proud to have received the award and our specialist commercial litigation team is developing a strong reputation nationwide for delivering appropriate and cost-effective legal support.”

Organisers of the International M&A Awards said only the most deserving firms received the prestigious awards and this year had seen particularly strong competition in every category.

The awards celebrate the outstanding efforts and amazing achievements of all those involved, and are handed out solely on merit to those companies that have delivered exceptional service over the last 12 months.

Pic:    Back, from left, Martin-Kaye’s Graham Davies and Andrew Oranjuik, and front, from left, Mohammed Ahsan and Jason Round celebrate their latest award

Wednesday, 10 June 2015

Share and share alike...

Shareholders must always have a back-up plan to protect the business in case a major player is taken ill, a Shropshire legal expert has warned.

Eliot Hibbert is the head of the Corporate Commercial Team at Martin-Kaye Solicitors, in Telford, and he said the serious illness or even death of a shareholder who is also the head of the business would undoubtedly cause problems.

“There have been cases where such circumstances have led to the break-up of a company, so even though it may sound obvious, having a plan in place will help your business to cope either temporarily, or permanently.”

Eliot said the plan would need to address the death or illness of a controlling director shareholder.
“In both situations, the aim is the same – to decide who takes their place and when. Maybe you’d prefer to rotate the position between directors, perhaps every three months, until a permanent change is made?”

But Eliot said it was ultimately the voting rights attached to the shares that were the most important element.

“If a key person is ill, then they still own the shares and the voting rights – unless they become mentally unwell. But if the shareholder dies, the power will shift, so your plan will need to cover both eventualities.”

The first point to check would be your company’s articles of association as they usually contain rules which authorise the executors of the shareholder’s will to register as the share owners until they’re transferred to the beneficiaries.

“But this may not suit your company’s plans – or the beneficiaries either – and you don’t want to end up in a complicated and expensive legal situation trying to sort it out.

“Draw up a shareholders’ agreement which sets out what will happen to the shares, and the shareholders should also amend their wills so they are consistent with the plan. This way you can avoid any disputes over ownership and voting rights, and secure the future of the business.”

Pic:    Eliot Hibbert from Martin-Kaye Solicitors in Telford

Tuesday, 9 June 2015

New faces join the Martin-Kaye team

Staff at a leading Telford law firm have welcomed two new faces to their growing town centre team.

Martin-Kaye Solicitors are based at The Foundry, in Euston Way, and they have appointed two new lawyers.

Kam Sodhi is the firm’s  new Property Lawyer who will be dealing with referral-based and private client property transactions.  She was raised in Derby and graduated with a law degree, before beginning her career in local government.

After gaining valuable experience in a wide number of areas including litigation, planning and property, and qualifying as a Chartered Legal Executive, Kam will now be part of Martin-Kaye’s record-breaking property team.

The firm’s other newest recruit is Anneka Sohal who has joined the commercial team as a newly-qualified solicitor.

Anneka has always had a passion for corporate/commercial law and commercial property issues, and has previously spent four years working for a leading national firm. During her time there she worked in various areas of law including employment and personal injury, and completed her final training.

Senior Partner Graham Davies said: “We’re delighted to welcome two new faces to our team, and both Kam and Anneka have already settled in extremely well.

“Their appointments are part of our expansion plans for the future, and now in our 30th year, we believe it’s vital to continue to build on the strong foundations we already have in place in order to move our business forward into the future.”



Thursday, 21 May 2015

Award-winning lawyers celebrate title

Lawyers at a Shropshire firm have won yet another national award for their commercial litigation expertise.

Martin-Kaye Solicitors, in Telford, have been recognised in the International M&A Awards run by Acquisition International Magazine.

They’ve been awarded the Excellence in Contract Focused Commercial Litigation UK title and it follows hot on the heels of their Midlands Litigators of the Year award just 12 months ago.

Senior Partner, Graham Davies, said: “This latest title is confirmation that we really do punch above our weight when it comes to the competition, and that the very best legal advice is available outside the major cities in the UK thanks to practices like Martin-Kaye.

“We’re extremely proud to have received the award and our specialist commercial litigation team is developing a strong reputation nationwide for delivering appropriate and cost-effective legal support.”

Organisers of the International M&A Awards said only the most deserving firms received the prestigious awards and this year had seen particularly strong competition in every category.

“For the past four years, through good times and bad, our global M&A Awards have charted the successes, stellar results and second-to-none client service of some of the worldwide M&A industry’s leading players.

“Our awards celebrate the outstanding efforts and amazing achievements of all those involved in identifying, coordination and seeing through to completion those important deals that could make a huge difference to a business, a local economy, or even an entire country.

“The awards recognise the dedicated and experienced investors, advisers, financiers and service providers who have been selected for their expertise in their specialised field and, most crucially, nominated by their clients and peers.

“Now in their fourth year, the awards are handed out solely on merit and are given to those companies that have delivers exceptional service over the last 12 months.”

Pic:    Martin-Kaye’s Jason Round, Mohammed Ahsan, Graham Davies and Andrew     Oranjuik celebrate their latest award

Friday, 15 May 2015

Lubna steps up at Martin-Kaye

More than 30 delegates attended an employment law seminar to hear from a Telford solicitor who was hosting an event for the very first time.

Employment law specialist Lubna Laheria stepped up to lead the event at Martin-Kaye Solicitors, in Euston Way, after the firm’s usual host, John Mehtam, was unable to attend due to ill health.

And her presentation has received excellent feedback from the wide range of companies who took part, with many taking to social media to praise her efforts.

“It was a great opportunity for me to step up on the day, and I was very keen to share our knowledge on the top ten blunders that employers make and the way to avoid the pitfalls,” said Lubna.

“With such a mixed audience, it was important to make sure our message was applicable to all kinds of industries, and I’m delighted that our delegates took away some valuable advice from such a lively and interactive event.”

Lubna was supported on the day by fellow Martin-Kaye employment team member, Emma Palmer, who took part in the question and answer session with delegates.

Senior partner, Graham Davies, said: “I was incredibly impressed with the way the team pulled together to deliver the seminar, and in particular, with Lubna’s performance, which really was outstanding. Our delegates praised her knowledge and presence, and it was excellent to receive such great feedback on social media sites in the immediate aftermath of the event.”

The seminar was the latest in a series of HELP presentations that Martin-Kaye Solicitors has run all over the Midlands and beyond. The aim is to take delegates through the minefield of employment pitfalls and all the latest topical workplace issues.

“HELP stands for HR and Employment Law in Practice, and our events offer a unique opportunity for business leaders to hear from the very best when it comes to tackling topical issues,” said Graham. 

“We’re looking forward to hosting more HELP sessions in the coming months. In the longer term, we’re hoping to extend our programme of events beyond the wider West Midlands area too as we’ve seen such a positive response from customers in the region.”

Pic:    Lubna Laheria and Graham Davies from Martin-Kaye Solicitors at the latest HELP presentation in Telford

Tuesday, 28 April 2015

Excess paperwork could be destroyed

Lawyers who produce excess paperwork could risk being named and shamed by the courts and face strict financial penalties.

And a Shropshire solicitor has welcomed the warning saying over-sized files slowed down legal proceedings costing valuable time and money.

Nadia Davis leads the family law team at Martin-Kaye Solicitors, in Telford, and said court proceedings involving family issues were always stressful and could be a protracted and difficult experience.

“I’m very pleased to hear that the Family Division of the High Court has warned lawyers they could face having their fees withheld if they refuse to keep paperwork to a minimum – it’s no good the courts complaining about the difficulties it causes unless they are prepared to take action.

“And now, the threat is that bundles of files in family law cases will be destroyed without warning if they exceed prescribed limits, so lawyers will need to tread extremely carefully.”

But Nadia said it was also important that divorcing couples did not automatically head straight for the courts rather than consider the alternatives available.

“I was one of the very first solicitors in Shropshire to qualify as a collaborative lawyer, and my advice to clients is to talk their case through very carefully before resorting to court action. I work with couples going through a divorce on an agreement that shows they are committed to finding the best solutions through negotiation, rather than the courts.

“The agreement also prevents lawyers involved in the initiative from representing their client in court if the collaborative process breaks down. So this means everyone involved is absolutely committed to making it work,” said Nadia.

But this approach has not been adopted by everyone and national research has shown that only 51 per cent of those surveyed would consider a non-court based solution.

“The warning from the High Court shows that the legal system is ready to clamp down on lawyers who continuously flout the rules, and I am very pleased that decisive action is now being taken,” said Nadia.