Joint Head of Family Business speaking at UHI Event 17th May 2013
WJM’s Joint Head of Family Business, Susan Hoyle, is the key speaker at the University of the Highlands and Islands’ Management School first lunchtime business talk on Friday 17th May.
Part of UHI’s partnership with Business Gateway, the Management School is hosting a series of talks to highlight the practical approaches it can take in helping Highlands and Islands businesses.
Susan’s lively and interesting talk, the provocatively titled “How to sack your father (and other pressing issues in family businesses)”, will give an insight into the journeys taken by successful family businesses as they deal with inter-generational change.
Dr Neil Simco, Dean of the Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Business at the university, adds: “The lunchtime seminar series is an important opportunity to build links between the worlds of academia and business. We’re looking forward to welcoming colleagues from the business community for these events.”
WJM changes leadership of Family Business Consultancy
WJM have announced changes in our spin out consulting business, Family Business Solutions Limited (FBS) which works closely with our in-house, specialist family business legal team.
WJM and FBS have been thought leaders in the UK family business market since 1995 – WJM through the introduction of innovative legal services for family businesses and FBS through the development of a leading edge consulting process. This market expertise has been recognised by Withers LLP with Ken McCracken’s move to Withers to help them set up a new international family office consultancy.
The WJM team is led by head of tax, Susan Hoyle and Liam Entwistle who is head of the firm’s dispute resolution services. Their team of lawyers come from every other department in WJM, all of whom have received specialist, family business training.
Susan will also be involved in FBS where she will work with George Stevenson, who was the founding chair of the Scottish Family Business Association (SFBA). Under their joint leadership, FBS will help families who want to know about the best practice structures and policies for running their businesses. FBS will also provide training programmes for family business owners and their advisers.
Margaret Robertson, the managing partner of Withers said, “We admire the knowledge and practical expertise that WJM and FBS have developed and we believe that this will be very successful in the international market-place. I expect the relationship between Withers and WJM will grow as we develop our distinct interests in this important market.”
This link will be aided by Ken McCracken continuing as a consultant to WJM and FBS. The Chairman of WJM, Colin Brass, said, “We’re delighted that our innovative work in this field has been recognised by a firm of Withers’ calibre and wish Ken all the best in his new international role.”
Colin continued, “WJM is the family business law firm and we are very proud of the independent work done by FBS for their clients. George is a great asset for FBS given his experience as a family business owner and leader, and his contribution to the wider family business community through SFBA.”
Family Business Conference Update: Insider & Outsider
WJM have brought together a family business “insider” and an “outsider” to present both sides of a family business story.
Angus MacLeod, who heads up WJM’s Highland & Islands office in Inverness said, “WJM expect the conference to be very popular because it gives family businesses and advisers a unique opportunity to hear from a family who tackled the challenges that every family business faces at some time.”
Hugh Raven will be the keynote speaker, and the conference is based on the story of his family business, Ardtornish Estate in Morvern.
The untimely death of Hugh’s brother during a period when the Estate was going through an ambitious diversification, created pressures that understandably led to the type of anxiety that every family-in-business has to cope with at some time. Hugh will explain how the Raven family responded to the challenge of finding a better balance between the interests of the family and their business by creating the Raven Family Constitution.
Hugh will also speak about how he felt during this testing time as an “Insider” who wore different hats; family member, a trustee and beneficiary of the trust that owns the Estate, and a director of the company that runs the estate.
The “Outsider’s” perspective will be presented by Andrew Hamilton of Strutt & Parker, a long-standing adviser to the Raven Family and director of the estate company. Andrew now chairs the Raven Family Council and will explain how the Council works as well as giving his view of the overall effect the changes had on the Raven family and Ardtornish Estate.
The seminar will be chaired by Ken McCracken of Family Business Solutions (FBS) who helped the Raven family through the process of creating their Family Constitution.
The story of Ardtornish will be valuable for every family in business who seek a secure and prosperous future. It will be equally enlightening for advisers who want to provide creative and practical help to family businesses. Those attending will have a rare opportunity to learn what is emerging as best practice in family business governance.
Angus said, “We are delighted to provide the platform for Hugh and Andrew to speak publicly about their experiences. This story is a great example of how families-in-business can thrive through becoming better organised. I know that’s easier said than done, but the story of the Raven Family shows how it can be done well.”
The Conference takes place on 19th March 2013 at the Kingsmills Hotel, Inverness, from 12.00pm until 5.00pm. Attendance is free and includes a buffet lunch. Demand for places is expected to be high and early booking is encouraged.
Book your place here
Non-Domestic Rates Relief Substantially Reduced!
The Local Government Finance (Unoccupied Properties etc.) (Scotland) Act 2012 (“the 2012 Act”) came into force in December 2012.
One of its key provisions is the slashing of non-domestic rates relief from a maximum of 50% to a maximum of 10% for unoccupied commercial properties which have been empty for more than three months.
For landlords, tenants and property owners of vacant commercial premises, the implications of the 2012 Act are:
- If you currently receive a business rates’ discount, your liability for business rates may increase from 50% to 90%;
- 100% business rates relief should still apply for the first three months of a commercial property becoming vacant, but, after the initial three months’ period, the business rates relief may be reduced to as little as 10%; however . . .
- listed properties, industrial properties, and those of low rateable value continue to enjoy 100% business rates relief.
Some more encouraging news is:
- under the Government’s “Fresh Start” scheme, there is to be a 50% discount to anyone taking on a shop or office that has been empty for over 12 months; and
- this week Scotland’s Local Government Minister, Derek Mackay, announced a new business rates relief scheme for new build empty properties in the hope of encouraging commercial development and an increase in the supply of new build properties for businesses in Scotland. The relief scheme is set to run for a period of three years from 1st April 2013 by providing rates relief of up to 100% that can be applied for up to 18 months by owners and developers of new build empty properties built in Scotland from 1st April 2013.
The 2012 Act provisions are in force and apply only to property in Scotland.
For more information regarding your Scottish properties or for guidance on the rates position in England and Wales, contact Jillian Bynoth.
Read more on WJM’s highly rated Commercial Property Team.
WJM launches Family Business Event in Inverness
As the market leading Family Business firm, WJM continue to innovate in their offerings to family businesses and the business families who run them.
The latest offering is another in WJM’s series of mini-conferences. The popular and well subscribed mini-conferences present a short, sharp overview of a particular topic and on March 19 2013, Family Businesses are the key topic.
At the conference, you’ll hear a family business insider tell of the changes in his family business and a family business outsider will give his insights into working with a family in their business. Naturally as the longest established family business solicitors in Scotland, you’ll also hear from WJM’s award-winning, market-leading family business team.
The conference will be of interest to those with family enterprises or an interest in the wellbeing of family enterprises.
Hugh Raven, Ardtornish Estate
Andrew Hamilton, Strutt & Parker
Ken McCracken, Family Business Solutions
Liam Entwistle, Wright, Johnston & Mackenzie
The event follows WJM’s usual short, sharp conference format starting with lunch at 12.30pm.
Attendance is free and demand for places is expected to be high.
Booking is now open - simply click here for more details and a booking form.