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Laurence advises clients in regulated sectors, particularly FCA-authorised firms, charities, education sector bodies, sports industry companies and PLCs, on a range of commercial and compliance matters. These include sales and sourcing agreements, joint ventures and collaborative working, public procurement and state aid, funding agreements and constitutional arrangements, all of which are affected by constant regulatory updates.
He also advises on corporate finance matters such as capital raisings and public takeovers.
"Takes time to understand the client’s business." - Legal 500, 2013
“This is an important deal for South Yorkshire and safeguards the future of one of England’s grandest homes following years of uncertainty and decline. We are delighted to have been involved in helping WWPT complete this purchase, particularly as it represents such a key milestone in the long history of the house and is vital in moving forward the future redevelopment of Wentworth Woodhouse.”
Right from the vote we’ve been advising clients to hedge their risks and not take big commercial bets until the shape of Brexit starts to emerge. Anything which diminishes the uncertainty is really positive. Even though there is still a way to go, triggering Article 50 should start to make the game become clearer which is immeasurably helpful for businesses.
Businesses should prepare for the unexpected now that the Supreme Court has set the government on course for a Brexit parliamentary vote. Although the Government seems confident they will be able to push ahead as planned, there could still be unexpected hurdles to overcome if the vote doesn’t go their way.
If the vote goes the Government’s way, with all to play for in the negotiations with Brussels, businesses and industry sectors should prioritise getting their voices heard. The financial and automotive sectors will be a priority for Theresa May’s administration; for others, now is the time to engage with ministers and civil servants. Individual companies will be making operational plans already but stakeholder engagement is also important and being aware of the priorities of shareholders, customers and employees will support future relationships.
Now that Theresa May has revealed her hand, businesses need to start preparing for a hard Brexit, without access to the EU single market. The Government’s stated intention is to negotiate a free trade agreement with the EU including a customs agreement, but there is no certainty of outcome and Mrs May recognised this, saying that no agreement with the EU would be preferable to a bad agreement.
Businesses therefore need to prepare themselves for tariffs on manufactured goods of all sorts and food products, the cost of which will either have to absorbed by companies or passed onto the consumer, with unpredictable results. Supply chains may face disruption, particularly in industries such as aerospace where EU-wide accreditation is important.
The financial services sector is also important to the UK economy and a hard Brexit is likely to mean that businesses in the sector will lose their passporting rights, although negotiating an equivalence deal for some types of business will be a priority for the Government. This area will be closely watched but we can expect banks and insurers to move some staff to EU financial centres, a trend which has already begun, and to set up subsidiary companies within the EU.
Businesses are already sailing through choppy and unchartered waters the uncertainty will continue while the settlement with the EU is negotiated, notwithstanding that certainty is Mrs May’s first principle for the negotiation. The practical advice is to stay flexible and have both short and long term plans to cover all eventualities.
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