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Business Law

The Business Law department at stevensdrake is headed by Paul Dungate. Paul works alongside an experienced team of corporate lawyers, many of whom have worked ‘in-house’ within commerce and industry

Our team of business lawyers specialise in the following practice areas:

  • Acquisitions and disposals
  • Company re-organisations
  • Financing
  • Technology and Internet trading
  • Agency
  • Joint ventures
  • Franchising
  • Distribution
  • Intellectual property and EC competition law

Business Law at stevensdrake

There is no doubt that buying or selling a business is one of the most complicated things you can do. All aspects of the business need to be considered, The Business Law department at stevensdrake is headed by Paul Dungate. Paul works alongside an experienced team of corporate lawyers, many of whom have worked ‘in-house’ within commerce and industry. This enables the team to offer practical legal advice based on real experience, meeting the changing needs of modern day business.

stevensdrake has a wide range of business law commercial clients. These range from large public companies to small, medium enterprises and start-ups.

The Gatwick Diamond

The Gatwick Diamond is a key location for companies supplying the defence industry. The team at stevensdrake specialises in dealing with the unique challenges of this most sensitive area. With experience in defence procurement including R&D contracts for emergent technology and supply contracts for existing goods and services, the team has assisted many lead and sub-contractors in their dealings with the Ministry of Defence and former UK Government Agencies. This places us in a unique position in Sussex and Surrey, allowing local companies to take advice from specialists on their doorstep.

Business law with no limits

Whilst the business law team is based in Sussex, their work involves clients from all around the south of England. The team is familiar with many different industry and service sectors.

Buying & selling businesses

There is no doubt that buying or selling a business is one of the most complicated things you can do. All aspects of the business need to be considered, including its assets and contracts, employees, premises, intellectual property and more. The team of commercial solicitors at stevensdrake has a wide range of experience in buying and selling businesses in all sectors of industry, from residential care to high technology and aviation.

Both buyers and sellers have to go through a due diligence process, designed to provide the buyer with all the information they will need to decide if they want to proceed. This process can vary in complexity depending on the depth of information required and its availability. The experienced team of commercial lawyers at stevensdrake will guide you through this process with the minimum of fuss.

The mechanics of the process also need to be dealt with and will depend on whether the transaction is a share sale or asset sale. In either case, the transaction documents will contain warranties from the sellers on the state of the business. We will put together a bespoke team from the commercial, employment and property departments to advise you on all aspects of the transaction.

The structure of the transaction must also be carefully thought through, as this will dictate the amount of tax paid by both the buyer and seller. We will always work closely with your tax advisers to ensure that you get the best deal, with the minimum of tax exposure.

Commercial Contracts

In today’s fast-moving automatic document generating world with its electronic communications, getting your contracts right is a vital skill. That way you will always know the risk/benefits of all your contractual dealings.

We have dealt with a myriad of different types of contracts. These vary from basic supply or purchasing terms – differing between when you sell online or whether you sell to a business or a consumer, as different rules apply – to complex national and international agreements subject to English law. The stevensdrake team have acted for public bodies and private companies bidding for major public tenders (Paul’s largest matter was a £160m outsourcing) and in relation to national logistics contracts, technically complex management and services contracts as well as IT contracts.

Sensible pragmatic commercial advice and opinions honed by Paul’s 17 years’ in-house lawyer experience can be given taking into account the strength of negotiating positions, balancing risk and benefit (why do you not charge more than your original quote for taking on an extra risk that a customer has subsequently required you to write into the contract?) and understanding the sharing of the liabilities. These issues crop up in all agreements and we can help with agency agreements, distribution arrangements, partnership/membership/shareholders agreements, manufacturing agreements, services agreements, consultancy agreement, selling online and all other unique and individualistic contracts which need to be drawn up. That said, getting the deal done within the key commercial parameters is key and we do not lose sight of the wood for the trees.

If required, for a very modest fee indeed, we are happy to attend at your offices and give an informal contracts teach-in to your sales and sales order processing staff so they understand the issues and can be sensitive to arising contract issues concerning its formation and construction issues, the ‘battle of the forms’ and what clauses and terms actually mean. We have undertaken this at various clients in the past and it is always well-received and appreciated.

Client Feedback

“As a small start-up in a specialist online sector, we have needed fast, relevant and to the point legal advice. stevensdrake was able to provide this and more”
“stevensdrake has successfully helped us to steer through a number of critical problems by applying a commercial perspective married to an expert grasp of detailed legal issues”
“The clarity of communication and expertise of stevensdrake in helping us to build a care home group in the South has been superb. Their level of service, commercial sensitivity, and focus on timely execution have been first class. We look forward to our continued work with them in realising our plans in the coming years”

Who to contact to learn more

Our team members below specialise in Business Law and will be able to help with all your questions.

Paul Dungate

Corporate and Commercial Law

Nusrat Qureishi

Associate Director, Head of Corporate and Commercial Law

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