The Law Store offers a range of professional services to small to medium enterprises. They have many years experience assisting both vendors and purchasers of businesses, particularly of small to medium sized businesses with values between $50,000 and $2,000,000.
Given the increased regulatory environment businesses now operate in, the sale and purchase of a business is becoming increasingly complex and there is a need to obtain sound professional advice before embarking on either a sale or purchase of a privately held business, and throughout the transaction to settlement.
Sale and purchase agreements:
The Law Store offers a complete service of support, including referring purchasers to appropriate specialists who can assist with the due diligence and independent assessments. Careful consideration must be given to the structure that best meets the needs of all shareholders. The range of options includes private individuals, partnerships, special partnerships, trading trusts and limited liability companies. Factors to be considered when determining the correct business structure involves cost, flexibility, risk exposure, ability to raise finance and tax effectiveness.
Commercial relationships often involve parties agreeing to incur and accept contractual obligations. Breaches of contract can lead to disputes where litigation assistance is required. Often a party may have to decide whether or not to affirm or cancel a contract. That decision can be critical in determining the outcome of any dispute. For that reason we encourage our clients to contact us immediately should they become concerned about the contractual relationships they are in.
Duty of Care:
The complex relationships between companies and/or individuals can also lead to claims arising from one partys actual or alleged breach of a duty of care to another. This area of law is commonly known as tort or negligence. Claims of this nature commonly arise from accidents resulting in damage to property, negligent or defective workmanship, negligent professional advice, or damage to property. The Law Store can assist pursuing or defending such claims.
In New Zealand there is a raft of legislation that provide consumers with protection and avenues of redress when they have suffered loss or been harmed by suppliers of goods and services. These include the Consumer Guarantees Act, Fair Trading Act, and the Consumer Finance and Credit Contracts Act.
There are also a myriad of forums outside the judicial court system in which consumers can pursue claims when they receive goods or services from businesses that are of inferior quality. These include the Insurance and Savings Ombudsman, the Banking Ombudsman, Privacy Commissioner, Human Rights Commissioner and specialised tribunals for areas such as the real estate, rental disputes and other service industries.
The key to succeeding in consumer claims is to ensure that the claim is clearly detailed, evidence is properly recorded and precise remedies are sought. We can give practical and quality advice in most areas. With proper advice and professional services, disputes can often be resolved or settled without unreasonable cost or stress.
Emergency Applications, injunctions and interim relief:
By their very nature, urgent and emergency applications require immediate action in order to commence or address proceedings where one party is attempting to maintain the status quo or stop another party taking irreversible action which may adversely affect another party or property. We can assist our clients obtain an injunction or defend injunction claims against them.
An injunction can be sought to restrain a party from dealing with an asset or money in order to prevent the frustration of another partys claim. Such an action is known as a Mareva injunction and can be of particular importance when there is a concern that funds or assets may be disposed of.
Bankruptcy, insolvency, and creditors arrangements:
Fluctuations in the economic cycle mean that expertise and advice in the areas of insolvency and bankruptcy is often required. The manner in which these issues are addressed can have a significant bearing on the ultimate outcome of claims being made against insolvent parties and their consequences.
We are able to assist clients in entering into creditors arrangements to mitigate the consequences of any action by creditors. We frequently advise creditors in relation to legal issues arising from the actions of an insolvent debtor and the ability to reverse unlawful transactions.
It is wise for any small to medium sized business to have succession planning. This covers who is to take over control of running the company in the event of the current owner being killed, or badly injured or suffers from ill health so that he or she could not work. It needs to be recorded in a company minute, reviewed annually.
Various types of shareholder agreements can be structured. Early advice when forming the company can avoid major issues further down the track to provide certainty and clarity as to shareholders rights, and what happens should specified events occur.