James Davies, a barrister at New Square Chambers, trained as an accountant. He is consequently remarkably qualified to advise on the pitfalls that can befall a SME when the main stakeholder dies or is unable to carry on a business.
James addressed a group of local professionals this morning at Hedges Law at their headquarters in Beaumont Street, Oxford.
He highlighted the benefits of making a shareholder agreement that will cover issues such as how and when dividends will be made, who has access to information, who might have rights of first refusal or options on shares, and the basis on which the shareholding will be valued. These agreements need to be very carefully drafted so that all scenarios are considered and they meet the client's intentions for the future and their family. They can only be amended by the consent of all shareholders and that might not be possible at a later stage if the interests of other shareholders are not all aligned.
Carl Selby, Head of Corporate and Commercial at Hedges Law can help you to identify your objectives and the steps that need to be taken to make them happen, including drafting a shareholder agreement.
"Succession planning involves commercial, legal and tax considerations. It also involves managing expectation and emotions of family members and business partners. However, with proper preparation there are a range of legal mechanisms available to help ensure that client objectives are met." James Davies, Hedges Law Seminar 8 November 2019