At Gowen & Stevens the solicitors in our corporate and commercial law department are focused on resolving clients’ business issues and making sure they comply with the law. Our lawyers have the specialist knowledge and experience required to be able to provide expert advice that you can trust.
We act for new business start-ups, owner-managed businesses and SMEs based in Surrey and beyond and provide advice in a number of areas including:
- Buying & selling a business
- Mergers, acquisitions and disposals
- Company formations & shareholder agreements
- Commercial contracts
Buying & selling a business
Gowen & Stevens has experience of advising the Buyers and Sellers of many types of small business and can confidently guide you as to the decisions which will need to be made.
We can advise on the quickest route to achieve success. Our experienced lawyers will also be prepared to advise you to proceed no further if the transaction appears to be fundamentally flawed, saving you both time and money.
We will coordinate the business purchase or sale with the associated property and employment aspects of the transaction and ensure that the use to which the premises will be placed satisfies both the Lease (if applicable) and/or planning legislation.
Mergers, acquisitions and disposals
Gowen & Stevens commercial department has acted for many companies and/or their shareholders in connection with merging, acquiring or disposing of trading and investment companies.
Almost without exception contemplating a disposal of a successful company may take many months to plan. Clear initial objectives tend to produce the most satisfying outcomes.
Many companies are family owned or controlled. Disposals may be to third parties; to a competitor or perhaps to existing management by way of a buyout. The resulting wealth can then be diversified into new investment opportunities.
When acquiring a company the time spent on negotiating with the seller and the undertaking of the necessary due diligence will be crucial to enable you to formulate the price to be paid and how it is to be structured;
- An outright purchase?
- An earn out?
- Cash or shares; or a combination?
All these questions will need careful evaluation. Gowen & Stevens can advise on the drafting of a Non-Disclosure Agreement behind which negotiations may be commenced.
Merging a company with another will require extremely careful planning. Is a merger in the best interest of each party? Should other courses of action be considered; perhaps a joint venture?
Speak to us early on with your thoughts and plans to ensure you make the right opening move.
Company formations & shareholder agreements
Gowen & Stevens company & commercial department has advised many clients on both the advantages and disadvantages to forming a limited company. There are many questions that need to be answered:
- What is the most appropriate type of company for the task to be undertaken?
- If a company limited by shares is incorporated, who should hold the shares and how many?
- Should they all be of the same class?
- Who should act as directors? Will they be the same individuals as the shareholders?
- Do those who are appointed as directors understand the obligations they are assuming?
Gowen & Stevens will guide you through these difficult questions providing you with the benefit of experience that we have gained over many years. We can advise you as to whether or not it would be advantageous for the shareholders to enter into a Shareholders Agreement.
A commercial contract is normally concerned with the rights and duties which arise from the supply of goods and services by way of trade.
In the circumstances it is almost inevitable that a business client will need to enter into a multitude of commercial contracts during their business life.
It is essential that such contracts are drafted with both care and clarity.
Gowen & Stevens can advise on the nature and content of any such document including:
- How the risk is allocated
- Which jurisdiction is most appropriate to the documentation
- Which are the most appropriate sanctions when things go wrong
- Do intellectual property considerations apply?