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Contract Law

Good News and Bad News for International Business

During the pandemic, SMEs worldwide assumed this was as bad as it got, and by this time things would have improved. In fact, 2023 seems to be even worse than the height of lockdown — in fact, the worst the economy has been since 2008. Strangely, though, this doesn’t appear to be causing gloom among business owners. A recent survey suggested that the vast majority of SMEs in the international business community are op
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Are Supply-Chain Delays Killing Your Business?

Business owners generally focus most on the sales that bring in the income, rather than on their suppliers. That’s understandable, but it can also be short sighted. Recent research by retail bank Aldermore has found that well over half of SMEs have suffered supply-chain problems in the past year — and this has cost a total of £1.9 billion. Why Are There Supply Chain Delays? Disruptions to supply chains have been goin
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Cryptocurrency and Insolvency — What’s the Future?

Cryptocurrencies, like Bitcoin and many others, have being growing in popularity for several years, but have posed a challenge in several legal areas. This has included insolvency laws. After all, how can you include as an asset something that’s not only non-physical, but also anonymous? However, English law has recently started trying to define cryptocurrencies as assets, so what does that mean for insolvency law? T
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Insolvency Service Raising Petition Deposits

If you’re applying to the Insolvency Service for either a Creditors’ bankruptcy or a Company liquidation against someone who owes you money, a deposit is charged. This may or may not be returned, depending on the assets available. The charge for deposits has been stable since 2016, but next month it will be rising substantially. So what does this mean, if you’re considering applying? What Are Petition Deposits? If al
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Three Essential Steps Before Signing a Commercial Lease

Any legal document requires close scrutiny before you sign it, and this is certainly true of a commercial lease. The ideal solution would be to have the agreement drawn up by a commercial law solicitor working for you, who’ll ensure there are no nasty surprises. Often, however, your landlord will present you with a ready-made agreement. Most landlords won’t be trying to cheat you, but the agreement will have been dra
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What’s the Position of Third-Party Guarantors Under a Part 26A Plan?

Two years ago, the government enacted Part 26A of the Companies Act 2006. The aim was to offer protection for companies during the Covid-19 pandemic, allowing the option of arranging a sanctioned restructuring plan. This includes the possibility of a moratorium on the company’s debts. However, one aspect of this not specifically covered by the Act, and not previously tested in court, is the position of third-party gu
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Improving Financial Outcomes — The FCA’s Three-Year Strategy

Most people would agree that the financial sector has been in dire need of more targeted regulation — and, on the whole, those companies that have always operated ethically would also agree. In a sector tarnished by everything from the LIBOR scandal to consumer scams, tougher regulations should allow firms already meeting or exceeding those standards to get a head-start. What’s the Background to the Strategy? S
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The Enforcement Conduct Authority — New Proposals for a Debt Enforcement Oversight Body

Many sectors of the financial world have their own independent oversight bodies. The best known is probably the FCA (Financial Conduct Authority) but similar organisations operate in various areas of finance. One notable exception, though, has been the debt enforcement sector — but that may be changing. A prominent think-tank has brought together various sides of the sector and proposed a framework for a new oversigh
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When Is a Penalty not a Penalty? — Are You Offside when Claiming Interest?

When you’re signing a commercial contract with a partner, you may find it includes a penalty clause. Or possibly you’ve included one in a contract you’ve drawn up. This is, in essence, a clause which states that a specific sum is payable in the event of a specific failure, such as late delivery of materials or services, or late payment of an invoice. Liquidated and Unliquidated Damages Penalty clauses have a contenti
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Keeping Your Business Out of Trouble

We’ve all read it over the past few months, banks, phone companies, and goodness how many other institutions have been hacked. Daily scams are becoming the norm; and every day seems to add to the problems small businesses are facing, myself included. I have written before about protecting your business with contingency planning and I make no apologies for repeating my concern. Remember to check this on a regular basi
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