Corporate and Commercial Law

Our specialist Corporate Commercial team are here to provide tailored legal advice and help you with practical solutions for your business.

With years of experience helping build and protect businesses under our belts, our dedicated corporate and commercial solicitors are here to advise you on any issue relating to your business, no matter how big or small.

We offer a personal approach to helping your business grow, at an affordable level. We assist businesses at all stages of life across a wide range of sectors, from start-ups, early-stage companies and individual entrepreneurs to small and medium enterprises and large regional, national and international corporations.

Whether you need one-off advice about a legal issue or you would like to work in an ongoing partnership with legal experts who know your business and its goals inside and out, we are happy to adapt our services to meet your needs.

Here’s what you can expect from your corporate and commercial lawyers:

  • Flexible and competitive funding options to suit your business’s budget.
  • A team of knowledgeable and commercially-astute specialists.
  • A broad range of expertise, from mergers & acquisitions and members’ agreements to commercial contracts advice and dispute resolution.
  • Quick responses to your calls and emails.
  • INSIGHT – our leading innovative service where our lawyers work for you where you are.
  • The Wosskow Brown Foundation – our initiative, dedicated to helping businesses and organisations thrive.

Get in touch with our corporate and commercial law solicitors in Sheffield and Barnsley

Get in touch with our friendly, expert corporate and commercial law solicitors in Sheffield and Barnsley.

We have local offices across Sheffield on Attercliffe Road and in Gleadless and Hillsborough, plus an office in Barnsley.

Give us a call at your nearest branch or fill in our online enquiry form and we will give you a call back as soon as possible.

What our corporate and commercial lawyers can do for you

Running a successful business does not just take an entrepreneurial spirit, it requires commitment and the ability to deal with a whole range of challenges and opportunities.

While some aspects of business are likely to be second nature to you, for others, you could benefit from the strategic advice of an expert.

For starters, making sure the legal foundations of your business are rock-solid is the key to getting things off to the strongest possible start. This means:

  • Crafting the perfect shareholders' agreement, partnership agreement or articles of association.
  • Investing in your underlying commercial contracts and employment contracts.
  • Reviewing your financing documentation and making sure your legal interests are protected.

All these tasks require specialist legal advice to reduce the risk of disputes arising and provide the framework to help your business grow.

At Wosskow Brown Solicitors, our team can offer a wide range of corporate and commercial law advice to businesses and professional individuals with particular expertise supporting start-ups, early-stage businesses and individuals looking to set up a business.

As well as helping businesses get off the ground, we can provide day-to-day management support to help you thrive. Our expertise includes:

Acquisitions

Organic growth is the cornerstone of most business expansion. However, a strategic acquisition can significantly enhance your business, whether it’s to add geographical coverage, or bring a key skill, product or person in-house.

We can work with you to develop an acquisition strategy that delivers on your personal and corporate goals. We can also develop a robust funding structure that ensures the strategy enhances your existing business and minimises personal risk.

Our services include:

  • Identifying potential acquisition targets
  • Contacting and liaising with targets to establish interest and negotiate initial terms
  • Liaising with external funders to secure acquisition finance
  • Preparing and talking you through the legal documentation

Our combined team will support you from the initial approaches to targets through to legal completion.

Shareholder agreements

A shareholder agreement is a must for maintaining a good relationship between shareholders. It protects members’ interests and can save considerable time and costs in the future by avoiding shareholder disputes.

It is also a private way to regulate company relationships as your shareholder agreement does not need to be filed at Companies House like your Articles of Association do.

Typically, a shareholder agreement will include provisions about how shares may be transferred by a shareholder should they choose to leave the company, or what happens to shares in the event of a shareholder’s death. It can contain restrictive covenants which will bind outgoing shareholders and protect the goodwill in the company.

Getting specialist legal advice for your shareholder agreement is essential to carefully tailor it to your commercial needs. For example, the agreement could contain provisions to protect minority shareholders or, on the other hand, provide the majority shareholder with all the decision-making powers within the company.

We can talk you through all the options and discuss all the potential implications so you can make informed decisions about how to proceed.

Partnership agreements

Without a partnership agreement, your partnership will be governed by the dated Partnership Act 1890. This Act permits a partner to retire with immediate effect without notice and this causes the partnership to automatically dissolve.

With a partnership agreement in place, there will be more certainty between the partners. A notice period can be inserted to ensure that the other partner is not left ‘in the lurch’ if one partner wants to retire. The agreement will include provisions about how one party may buy out the other’s share of the partnership and can also include a provision to pay off the outgoing partner in instalments. This can prevent disputes and unnecessary costs in the future.

Company law matters and directors' responsibility

We can help you with a whole range of company law matters – whether you need advice on the interpretation of the Companies Act 2006 or want a set of articles of association drafting.

We can also help you with drafting documentation for company reorganisations and company share buy-backs.

Our clients are quite often concerned about the responsibilities and liabilities associated with becoming a director, so we can provide you with guidance on the associated responsibilities and risks which may be involved.

Banking & finance documentation and the giving of guarantees

We can review, report on and draft finance documents on your behalf. These include loan agreements, charge agreements, debentures and legal mortgages.

We can give you independent advice (as often required by a bank) before you enter into a personal guarantee connected with business or personal borrowing.

Drafting or review of commercial contracts

We can draft any type of commercial contract for you or review them on your behalf, including:

  • Agency agreements
  • Distribution agreements
  • Terms and conditions of sale of goods or services
  • Franchise agreements
  • Conditions of purchase
  • Any other type of bespoke contract that you may require us to draft

We can review and revise your existing contracts and bring them up to date with current legislation. We are happy to review and report on any contract that you may be asked to enter into in order to identify risks.

Selling your business

Selling a business can be the most significant transaction of most people’s lives. However, it’s not like selling other assets. In addition to achieving the best value, there are a broad range of issues to consider such as:

  • Is now the right time to sell?
  • Are there any ways to increase the value?
  • When will I get my money?
  • What do I need to do to prepare for the sale?
  • Will the buyer look after the staff?
  • Could the management buy the business?
  • Will the consideration, if deferred, be secure?
  • What will the legal process involve?
  • What risks are involved?

We will work with you to consider these points and ensure:

  • The business is in the best possible condition for sale
  • That you generate interest from all potentially interested parties
  • That you market at the most appropriate time
  • That the sale process is managed to ensure it is as straightforward as possible to limit any impact on the business

Restructuring and Insolvency Solutions

Businesses may face financial challenges on their journey. Seeking good, commercial and professional advice at such times is vital. As legal advisors, accountants and business advisors we have all the necessary skills to guide you through any financial difficulties and restructuring process.

A carefully considered restructure combined with an insolvency process is sometimes the best course of action to preserve business value, save jobs and/or maximise a return for creditors, funders and shareholders.

We have experts who can advise on all areas to guide you through any such process.

We can provide advice on the following services:

Restructuring and Turnaround

  • Debt negotiation and dealing with difficult suppliers and creditors
  • Refinancing and debt restructuring
  • Advice on employee redundancies
  • Advice on security and secured creditors
  • Selling assets or parts of underperforming businesses
  • Protection and preservation of business value throughout the process
  • HMRC Time to Pay arrangements

Insolvency

  • Members (solvent) voluntary liquidations and S110 Insolvency Act Reconstructions
  • Defence of winding up petitions
  • Validation orders to trade through the post-petition process
  • Directors duties and personal exposure
  • Creditors voluntary arrangements
  • Administrations
  • Creditors Voluntary Liquidations

Financial Due Diligence

We work with a broad range of debt and equity providers to support their funding processes.

A third-party review of the financial information provided as part of a funding application can be essential to giving funders the comfort they are looking for to invest or lend.

With the experience of working in the banking sector, we understand the focus and the detail that funders are looking for in this process. We produce short, tailored reports focused on key areas of risk and mitigation.

Management Buyouts (MBOS)

Having the opportunity to buy the business you have worked in can often seem like a dream come true. However, when it comes to structuring a deal or raising the money, the opportunity can suddenly feel daunting and possibly unattainable.

We have many years of experience in helping management teams attain that dream management buyout. Our focus is not only on completing the deal but also on creating the right structure to protect the business and create long-term value for the MBO team.

We provide support from the initial discussions through to legal completion; our combined team can provide the lead advisory and legal support to ensure a seamless process.

Funding for Growth

With the current uncertainty in the economy, securing the right funding structure is imperative for all businesses. There are many options when looking for funding, we work with funders providing facilities from £50,000 to £10,000,000.

Facilities include:

  • Bank loans and overdrafts
  • Trade finance
  • Invoice discounting and factoring
  • Mortgages and bridging facilities
  • Leveraged debt
  • Equity

Commercial Property

Our commercial property team have extensive experience across a broad range of property matters including:

  • Property purchases and sales
  • Acting for landlords and tenants in the negotiation of commercial leases and licences
  • Property development
  • Funds raising and refinancing
  • Liaising with our corporate colleagues on business transactions

Our service focuses on delivering timely, value for money property transactions.

Consulting Services

We combine our broad range of experience in running businesses, working in banking, restructuring and the professional service sector to inform the delivery of our consulting services to clients.

Our consulting service can range from a short focused project to a long-term non-executive role. Our work often includes:

  • Developing strategies for growth
  • Building management teams to create succession
  • Refinancing projects
  • Acting as a sounding board
  • Chairing board meetings

Our strapline is “intelligent, proactive and Candid”. These three words are important to use and how we deliver our services.

If you feel an external view or having someone to hold the management team to account would add value, please ask about our consulting services.

The Wosskow Brown Foundation

We are the proud founders of the Wosskow Brown Foundation, a charitable foundation dedicated to supporting local businesses and individuals.

Our purpose is:

To provide practical help, inspiration and opportunities for people to reach their ambitions. 

We help people change their lives for the better, improve their community, create jobs and contribute to the local economy.

We do this through a structured programme of organisational and individual development including:

  • Planning – building a robust business plan.
  • Funding – helping you secure the funding you need to grow.
  • Leadership – inspiring the people around you.
  • Brand awareness – boosting consumer familiarity with your business.
  • People – securing top talent and surrounding yourself with the right people.
  • Technology – using tech to pursue your commercial goals.
  • Cashflow – balancing revenue and costs and implementing effective credit control procedures.
  • Measure progress – forming commercial goals and evolving your business as you grow.

Visit the Wosskow Brown Foundation website for further information or get in touch to discuss joining our programme.

Other ways we can help your business

Get in touch with our corporate and commercial law solicitors in Sheffield and Barnsley

Get in touch with our friendly, expert corporate and commercial law solicitors in Sheffield and Barnsley.

We have local offices across Sheffield on Attercliffe Road and in Gleadless and Hillsborough, plus an office in Barnsley.

Give us a call at your nearest branch or fill in our online enquiry form and we will give you a call back as soon as possible.

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Meet the team

Jamie Brown - Commercial Employment - Solicitor - Sheffield
Jamie Brown
Partner
Jim Lawson - HR Consultant - Sheffield
Jim Lawson
Foundation Programme Director
Ruth Campbell - Wosskow Brown Solicitors
Ruth Campbell
Senior Paralegal