Partner and Head of Wills & Estate Planning at Andrew & Co Solicitors Helen Newson writes...
At Andrew & Co Solicitors, we act for many family owned businesses, with some dating back well over 150 years. In the UK, family run businesses account for 75% of all SMEs and dominate the farming industry and much of that number is based in Lincolnshire and Nottinghamshire.
Family businesses are truly unique in that they are often able to offer more to both their customers and employees because of the characteristics they embrace and the benefits family ownership can bring. They also, however, face all the challenges of any other business alongside the problems that can arise as a consequence of being in business with parents, husbands or wives, siblings, children or wider family members. Less than 10% of family businesses make it beyond the third generation and our experience is that succession planning is the greatest challenge faced by family businesses. The pitfalls and problems are many and varied but rarely unique, even though it may feel like that at the time.
A Collaborative Approach
Our Family Business Team comprises lawyers from a wide range of disciplines. To provide the best advice, our solicitors collaborate with each other to develop the right strategies and solutions for our clients. We also have strong relationships with other professional advisers and organisations who work with family businesses, which furthers our ability to provide the advice and support that is needed.
We are able to provide our family business clients with a wide-range of services, including:
- succession planning
- sales and acquisitions
- governance issues
- resolving disputes both in and out of the business
- setting up trusts and other personal wealth protection matters
- commercial contracts
- commercial property
- divorce and the family business
- agricultural and farming advice
Lincolnshire Family Business Forum
As part of our dedication to helping and supporting family businesses, we now run the Lincolnshire Family Business Fourm in partnership with Natwest and Streets Chartered Accountants. The Group holds events throughout the year at which specialist speakers give advice on key issues as well as providing the chance for those attending to share their experiences with others who are in the same or similar position. The forum is aimed at all generations of the family business and seeks to address common issues around succession planning, funding in order to develop a family business and how to address family conflicts. The forum meets on a regular basis and all those working in a family business are welcome to attend.
To speak to one of our family business law specialists, please contact us on 01522 512123 (Lincoln) or 01636 673743 (Newark).