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Retail

A legal team that's part of your business/

The retail sector is in the midst of significant change. Many traditional high street retailers are embracing the world of e-commerce and social media, and the legal requirements that come with it. Whether operating online or from premises, changing legislation regarding branding, intellectual property, employment and funding issues are also issues that potentially have to be addressed.

Our Retail Sector Group is made up of experts in all of these fields - and they don't just give advice; they become an extension of your team. We can even help you budget more effectively by offering you a fixed quarterly retainer which includes access to a helpline and support whenever you need it.

Some of the areas we can help you with are: (click on link for more information)

Brand management/

Retaining exclusivity for your brand image is crucial. The unauthorised use of similar names and 'get up' can impact significantly on the benefits gained from customer goodwill. Ensuring your brand development and management activities are compliant is also fundamental. The roles and responsibilities of organisations such as the Advertising Standards Authority, the Information Comissioner's Office, the Office for Fair Trading and Trading Standards, along with the courts, all have important roles to play.

Our BrandBuilder package provides targeted solutions to help businesses address these issues. Whether through securing registered trademark protection, counteracting brand rights infringement, or ensuring compliance in customer engagement and marketing activities, we can help your business achieve its goals.

Business advice/

From advising on banking and funding documentation to advising on joint ventures, acquisitions and commercial contracts, our team knows the ins and outs of how to keep a business sustainable and your projects on track. For example, when dealing with customers and suppliers, you'll need Terms and Conditions - which we can provide you with - dealing with all the essential elements to ensure you build solid and secure relationships.

In relation to the ownership of your business, we can advise on the preparation of partnership and shareholders' agreements regulating the relationship between business owners as well as providing a range of associated advice on matters such as exit strategy and succession planning, all of which are particularly important if your retail business is a family-owned, employee-owned or an owner-managed business.

Employment and HR issues/

Dealing with attendance issues, performance issues, and conduct issues are an unfortunate part of the job for many managers in retail. We can assist in guiding you through these issues and providing representation, should a dispute escalate into a tribunal claim. From standard documentation like employment contracts to advising on the changes to the national minimum wage and default retirement age, we can help with all aspects of employment law.

Online, mobile and digital/

For retailers, the relevance of the web cannot be underestimated. Modern methods of customer engagement and marketing, through mobile and other digital platforms, are becoming increasingly important, as a substitute for, or in addition to, 'bricks and mortar' outlets. The myriad of ways to reach consumers throws up a number of legal issues, from ensuring a proper process of contractual conclusion, adherence to consumer protection legislation, through to the management and use of personal data and relationships with service providers and developers. We can help you ensure your processes and activities are fit for purpose and compliant. In addition to all of the normal services, our Online, Mobile and Digital package includes a fixed price compliance review service, which assists businesses in identifying and addressing areas where remedial action is required.

Franchising/

The current difficult economic climate has widened the scope for potential franchising business so it's no wonder an increasing amount of clients are approaching us for information. Our services to franchisees include detailed reports on Franchise Agreements and sound advice on issues such as geographical area, operations manuals, exclusivity and the sale or transfer of the franchise business. Our services to franchisors include: advising on setting up, guiding you through the development of your business by expansion through franchising and drafting franchise agreements (the document which will regulate the relationship between the parties). We can also prepare confidentiality and deposit agreements.

Health and safety/

From the moment customers enter your premises you have a duty to make sure they are in a safe environment. You also have a duty to look after your employees. There are certain measures that can be put in place and precautions you can take to keep yourself covered, such as implementing a system of inspections and assessments. We can explain what you need to do. Should a claim be made against you, we can also help defend your case.

Insolvency/

It would be difficult not to notice the loss of several familiar names from the high street. Unfortunately, insolvency has become all the more common. We can help make the process easier by advising you on such things as the rights and duties of directors in respect of insolvency; the appointment and removal of administrators, liquidators, and receivers; and solvent restructuring and schemes of arrangement.

Licensing/

With the Licensing (Scotland) Act 2005, the Criminal Justice and Licensing (Scotland) Act 2010 and the Alcohol etc (Scotland) Act 2010, alcohol licensing law in Scotland is constantly evolving. We can provide expert advice on alcohol law from obtaining liquor licences to complying with strict controls on notices, advertising and promotions to keep the operation of premises compliant with the law. Away from alcohol, we can provide expert advice on public entertainment licences, late hours catering licences, taxi licensing and gambling law. We can also help you with any licensing board appearance work required.

Planning and construction/

Should you want to create a new outdoor seating area, extend or renovate your current premises or even construct entirely new premises, we can advise you. From negotiating and drafting planning agreements to preparing for a planning appeal, we can direct you on the best approach.

Property and conveyancing advice/

The location of your business premises is crucial to the success of your business. We can attend to all your legal needs in buying, mortgaging, leasing or selling commercial properties. Advice can also be provided in relation to setting up vehicles to protect property or the placing of properties in more advantageous vehicles, such as Self Invested Personal Pensions ("SIPPs").

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