Business /

Corporate Law

Working with you closely throughout the life cycle of your business

Being responsible for the running and growth of an established business can be extremely rewarding and exciting, requiring commitment, passion and drive.

Make an enquiryMeet the teamCorporate Law

  • Key contact

    Sharon Fryer

    Sharon Fryer

    Partner - Head of Commercial Services

    ArrowView profile

  • The Team

    Our lawyers have the expertise and experience to provide you with creative, personalised solutions in a clear and understandable way.

    ArrowMeet the team

  • Our Publications

    Discover a wealth of invaluable guidance in the form of guides and brochures written by our expert lawyers.

    ArrowSee our downloads

  • Our insights

    Discover the latest insights and thought leadership from our team of legal experts.

    ArrowFind out more

About

Taking a big-picture approach

Successful business leaders thrive on the highs of their commercial and personal successes and know to seek the support of trusted advisers when navigating more difficult times.

Businesses that are growing, in particular, may be more susceptible to commercial challenges, be they complications around funding, governance, supply chain or other aspects of the day-to-day running of the business. However, as a valuable and crucial part of the economy, they are also more adaptable and responsive to change. They have the ability to see opportunity and move quickly to capitalise upon it. To move your organisation forward, you should be working alongside a team with an in-depth awareness of your overarching commercial strategy and the expertise to provide you with innovative, proactive guidance.

Our corporate lawyers advise established UK and international businesses, their senior management and investors through expansion to exit. Getting to know you as the client is crucial to the work we do. We take a big-picture approach, understanding your commercial interests far wider than the instruction itself so we can provide you with uniquely tailored advice. We embed ourselves seamlessly into your team, creating a strong and enduring business partnership.

With our clear understanding of your long-term strategy and objectives, we can work with you closely throughout the life cycle of your business, planning and supporting growth from inception, through domestic or international expansion, mergers and acquisitions, right through to exit. We advise ambitious individuals and businesses and pride ourselves on constantly striving to find new and creative strategies to help our clients achieve the best possible results.

Business owners have the additional challenge of balancing the requirements of the business with their personal and family priorities, and it can be difficult not to let one impact the other. It is possible for relationship breakdowns and family conflicts to affect your business, if not managed properly. When you are faced with difficult personal situations, we draw on the expertise of our Private Wealth colleagues to help ensure both your business and personal life move forward in the right direction.

Jump to the top of the Corporate Law page

ESG

In recent years, demonstrating a commitment to Environmental and Social Governance (“ESG”) has become central to the ability of companies to maintain customer engagement and potentially attract investment. However, due to the lack of consensus regarding ESG, many companies have been accused of greenwashing or paying lip service to this area. One increasingly popular method of demonstrating substantive ESG credentials is for companies to become B Corp certified, enabling them to place the B Corp logo on their marketing materials and products. With over 6,000 B Corps worldwide, including household names such as Patagonia and Ben and Jerrys, the B Corp symbol is quickly becoming a powerful signifier that a business is committed to ESG.

B Corp Certification is undertaken by the not-for-profit organisation B Lab, which was formed in 2006 with the purpose of designing standards and programs to shift the focus of companies towards addressing the fundamental challenges of the modern world. For that purpose, B Lab has developed the B lab impact assessment, a point based holistic review of a company’s environmental and social impact. To achieve certification as a B Corp a company must achieve the high minimum score of 80 in the impact assessment, displaying a commitment to ESG. In addition to satisfying the impact assessment, a key foundation of B Corp certification is for a company to implement stakeholder governance. This requires a company to enable its’ directors to consider wider interests beyond profit, such as those of employees and the environment, when pursuing the development of their business. As such, an important part of the application will be enshrining key ESG principles into the applicant company’s constitution.

The route to certification is increasingly strenuous depending on the size of the applying company, in order to recognise the outsized impact some multinational companies can have in contribution to ESG. All companies must obtain at least 80 points on the B Lab impact assessment and complete a confidential disclosure questionnaire declaring any potentially sensitive practices, fines or sanctions which may require remediation to achieve certification. Following this, a company must commit to amending their articles of association to give effect to stakeholder governance. Certification can take from just a few months to several years depending on whether a company wishes to maximise its score in the impact assessment.

Having done so before, should your company be considering starting the process of applying for B Corp certification, Collyer Bristow are well placed to assist with making the requisite constitutional changes required to achieve your aim.

Mergers & Acquisitions

Acquiring or selling a business can be a great way for organisations to grow and transform, but it can also be complex and risky. There are many legal, financial and operational factors to consider which are not always obvious.

Find out more

Corporate Governance

Traditionally, corporate governance has been the preserve of listed companies. For many years now, all listed public companies in the UK have been asked to ‘comply or explain’ – either follow the UK Corporate Governance Code or explain why they do not.

Find out more

Private Equity & Venture Capital

Whether you need assistance with seed and early-stage funding or mature market raises to fund management buyouts, growth or development capital, our Corporate team has the experience to support you. We act for both investors and those seeking investment on deals that range from the simple to the extremely complex. We offer guidance across the spectrum of investment strategies, from the establishment of a fund to the creation of a clear exit strategy, whether that’s by sale, recapitalisation or IPO.

Adding value right across the funding lifecycle

The private equity and venture capital transactions we advise on are diverse in nature and our team has worked on a range of complex and high-value deals worldwide. We can help you with:

  • Initial fundraising
  • Secondary fundraising
  • Fund formation and structuring
  • Growth equity
  • MBOs, MBIs and BIMBOs
  • Exit strategy (public and private)
  • IPOs
  • Restructurings and existing debt refinancing

Find out more

We represent a broad client base across the UK, including private equity houses, management teams, portfolio companies, venture capital firms, fund managers, entrepreneurs and financial institutions. We’ve seen deals from both sides of the fence, and are used to managing the sometimes competing desires of companies to retain autonomy with the need for investors to be able to exercise a degree of control and influence over material decisions affecting the business.  No matter how new or established your business is, our Private Equity and Venture Capital expertise, together with our wider group of specialist lawyers in our tax, M&A, pensions, intellectual property and real estate teams are on hand to provide a one-stop-shop for PE/VC backed transactions.

Funding & Finance

All businesses need adequate funding in order to operate and grow. We work for both commercial lenders and borrowers on a range of funding transactions, both domestic and cross-border.

Find out more

Group Structures

Working closely with you and your tax advisers and legal advisers in other jurisdictions as appropriate, we develop and implement the optimum corporate group structure for your business, to align legal and operational requirements. This work includes simplification and/or divisionalisation of businesses and legal structures, to achieve effective and efficient use of resources and to integrate acquisitions.

Corporate Law Publications

  • Share v asset sales guide visual

    Corporate Know-How Guides: Share v. Asset Sales

    Share and asset purchases are the two methods of acquiring a business in the UK.

    Do you know their differences? The business of a sole trader or unregistered partnership can only be acquired through an asset purchase as there is no owning entity for the assets which can be acquired, while a share purchase can be used for the acquisition of all or part of the shares in a company which owns and operates a business.

    Discover our new series of Corporate Know-How guides.

    Download now

  • Shareholders' agreement guide visual

    Corporate Know-How Guides: Shareholders’ Agreements: the Basics

    Did you know that a shareholders’ agreement is a written agreement, between the shareholders of a company, as to the relationship between them and how the company should be managed. By including the company as a party, the shareholders can ensure that it is both bound by and able to enforce the terms of the agreement against contravening shareholders.

    Discover our new series of Corporate Know-How guides.

    Download now

  • Corporate Know-How Guides: Selling a Business

    We look at the flip side of price structuring, instead focusing on how a seller could secure elements of the purchase price that are delayed – or at least obtain comfort around the buyer’s ability to pay them.

    Discover our new series of Corporate Know-How guides.

    Download now

  • Corporate Know-How Guides: Buying a Business

    When making an offer for a business, the question of when the consideration will be paid can often be just as important as how much will be paid. We look at four of the most common options available to prospective buyers (beyond upfront cash payments) and the risks/rewards posed by them.

    Discover our new series of Corporate Know-How guides.

    Download now

  • cb-checkpoint

    CB Checkpoint: overview

    There are a number of key policies, procedures and documents your business should keep up to date, to be both legally protected and in preparation for investment or exit. Our team will give your business a full check-over.

    Download now

  • big ben - london

    İŞLETMELER İÇİN HİZMETLERİDDİALI İŞLETMELER İÇİN STRATEJİK DESTEK - İDDİALI İŞLETMELER İÇİN STRATEJİK DESTEK

    Turkish Language | An overview of our services supporting ambitious, often owner managed businesses, investors and entrepreneurs in building, operating and scaling enterprises from early stage right through to exit.

    Download now

  • mergers and acquisitions flyer

    Mergers & Acquisitions: an overview of our expertise

    An overview of the expertise of our Corporate team in relation to mergers and acquisitions, where we act for experienced private equity backed buyers as well more novice sellers who need careful guidance through this potentially daunting legal maze.

    Download now

  • lady talking on phone

    Services for businesses

    An overview of our services supporting ambitious mid-sized businesses, investors and successful entrepreneurs in building, operating and scaling enterprises.

    Download now

  • The City of London just after sunset, United Kingdom

    Doing business in the UK

    Whether you are looking to set up a new business here or expand an existing one, this guide covers the key things you need to know to avoid potential pitfalls and get the most out of your investment.

    Download now

  • ipad and lady

    key considerations when establishing business funding

    Are you considering new funding for your business? Our handy flowchart highlights key questions to ask yourself and key points to document to ensure your business is protected.

    Download now

  • Small business owner

    Pre-investment checklist

    An investor will want a range of financial, commercial and legal information about your business, before deciding how much to invest, and on what terms. This checklist helps you prepare for the legal part of that process.

    Download now

At what stage is your business?

Each stage of a business has its own challenges and opportunities. Our corporate lawyers specialise in advising established businesses through to exit.

Learn more

You should be thinking about:

  • Staying driven
  • Implementing better business practices
  • Automation and outsourcing
  • The bigger picture – the economy, competitors and changing customer tastes

Learn how we can help

You should be thinking about:

  • Adding new products or services to existing markets
  • Expanding your existing business into new markets
  • Joint ventures and licensing opportunities
  • Acquiring other companies – competitors, or assets which will complement, or assist with the diversification, of your existing business
  • The funding and management experience to take the business to another level

Learn how we can help

You should be thinking about:

  • Reinvention and reinvestment
  • Succession
  • Exit strategy

Learn how we can help

You should be thinking about:

  • A proper valuation of your company
  • Optimising your business ahead of sale
  • Making sure the deal is structured in a way which maximises the upside, and minimises the risk
  • Your next professional or personal step after exiting the business

Learn how we can help

Corporate Law insights

View all insights

Back

Need some more information? Make an enquiry below



    Corporate Law key contacts

    Corporate Law

    Corporate Law

    Corporate Law

    Working with you closely throughout the life cycle of your business

    Being responsible for the running and growth of an established business can be extremely rewarding and exciting, requiring commitment, passion and drive.

    • Key contact

      Sharon Fryer

      Sharon Fryer

      Partner - Head of Commercial Services

      ArrowView profile

    • The Team

      Our lawyers have the expertise and experience to provide you with creative, personalised solutions in a clear and understandable way.

      ArrowMeet the team

    • Our Publications

      Discover a wealth of invaluable guidance in the form of guides and brochures written by our expert lawyers.

      ArrowSee our downloads

    • Our insights

      Discover the latest insights and thought leadership from our team of legal experts.

      ArrowFind out more

    Taking a big-picture approach

    Successful business leaders thrive on the highs of their commercial and personal successes and know to seek the support of trusted advisers when navigating more difficult times.

    Businesses that are growing, in particular, may be more susceptible to commercial challenges, be they complications around funding, governance, supply chain or other aspects of the day-to-day running of the business. However, as a valuable and crucial part of the economy, they are also more adaptable and responsive to change. They have the ability to see opportunity and move quickly to capitalise upon it. To move your organisation forward, you should be working alongside a team with an in-depth awareness of your overarching commercial strategy and the expertise to provide you with innovative, proactive guidance.

    Our corporate lawyers advise established UK and international businesses, their senior management and investors through expansion to exit. Getting to know you as the client is crucial to the work we do. We take a big-picture approach, understanding your commercial interests far wider than the instruction itself so we can provide you with uniquely tailored advice. We embed ourselves seamlessly into your team, creating a strong and enduring business partnership.

    With our clear understanding of your long-term strategy and objectives, we can work with you closely throughout the life cycle of your business, planning and supporting growth from inception, through domestic or international expansion, mergers and acquisitions, right through to exit. We advise ambitious individuals and businesses and pride ourselves on constantly striving to find new and creative strategies to help our clients achieve the best possible results.

    Business owners have the additional challenge of balancing the requirements of the business with their personal and family priorities, and it can be difficult not to let one impact the other. It is possible for relationship breakdowns and family conflicts to affect your business, if not managed properly. When you are faced with difficult personal situations, we draw on the expertise of our Private Wealth colleagues to help ensure both your business and personal life move forward in the right direction.

    Jump to the top of the Corporate Law page.

    ESG

    In recent years, demonstrating a commitment to Environmental and Social Governance (“ESG”) has become central to the ability of companies to maintain customer engagement and potentially attract investment. However, due to the lack of consensus regarding ESG, many companies have been accused of greenwashing or paying lip service to this area. One increasingly popular method of demonstrating substantive ESG credentials is for companies to become B Corp certified, enabling them to place the B Corp logo on their marketing materials and products. With over 6,000 B Corps worldwide, including household names such as Patagonia and Ben and Jerrys, the B Corp symbol is quickly becoming a powerful signifier that a business is committed to ESG.

    B Corp Certification is undertaken by the not-for-profit organisation B Lab, which was formed in 2006 with the purpose of designing standards and programs to shift the focus of companies towards addressing the fundamental challenges of the modern world. For that purpose, B Lab has developed the B lab impact assessment, a point based holistic review of a company’s environmental and social impact. To achieve certification as a B Corp a company must achieve the high minimum score of 80 in the impact assessment, displaying a commitment to ESG. In addition to satisfying the impact assessment, a key foundation of B Corp certification is for a company to implement stakeholder governance. This requires a company to enable its’ directors to consider wider interests beyond profit, such as those of employees and the environment, when pursuing the development of their business. As such, an important part of the application will be enshrining key ESG principles into the applicant company’s constitution.

    The route to certification is increasingly strenuous depending on the size of the applying company, in order to recognise the outsized impact some multinational companies can have in contribution to ESG. All companies must obtain at least 80 points on the B Lab impact assessment and complete a confidential disclosure questionnaire declaring any potentially sensitive practices, fines or sanctions which may require remediation to achieve certification. Following this, a company must commit to amending their articles of association to give effect to stakeholder governance. Certification can take from just a few months to several years depending on whether a company wishes to maximise its score in the impact assessment.

    Having done so before, should your company be considering starting the process of applying for B Corp certification, Collyer Bristow are well placed to assist with making the requisite constitutional changes required to achieve your aim.

    Mergers & Acquisitions

    Acquiring or selling a business can be a great way for organisations to grow and transform, but it can also be complex and risky. There are many legal, financial and operational factors to consider which are not always obvious.

    Find out more

    Corporate Governance

    Traditionally, corporate governance has been the preserve of listed companies. For many years now, all listed public companies in the UK have been asked to ‘comply or explain’ – either follow the UK Corporate Governance Code or explain why they do not.

    Find out more

    Private Equity & Venture Capital

    Whether you need assistance with seed and early-stage funding or mature market raises to fund management buyouts, growth or development capital, our Corporate team has the experience to support you. We act for both investors and those seeking investment on deals that range from the simple to the extremely complex. We offer guidance across the spectrum of investment strategies, from the establishment of a fund to the creation of a clear exit strategy, whether that’s by sale, recapitalisation or IPO.

    Adding value right across the funding lifecycle

    The private equity and venture capital transactions we advise on are diverse in nature and our team has worked on a range of complex and high-value deals worldwide. We can help you with:

    • Initial fundraising
    • Secondary fundraising
    • Fund formation and structuring
    • Growth equity
    • MBOs, MBIs and BIMBOs
    • Exit strategy (public and private)
    • IPOs
    • Restructurings and existing debt refinancing

    Find out more

    We represent a broad client base across the UK, including private equity houses, management teams, portfolio companies, venture capital firms, fund managers, entrepreneurs and financial institutions. We’ve seen deals from both sides of the fence, and are used to managing the sometimes competing desires of companies to retain autonomy with the need for investors to be able to exercise a degree of control and influence over material decisions affecting the business.  No matter how new or established your business is, our Private Equity and Venture Capital expertise, together with our wider group of specialist lawyers in our tax, M&A, pensions, intellectual property and real estate teams are on hand to provide a one-stop-shop for PE/VC backed transactions.

    Funding & Finance

    All businesses need adequate funding in order to operate and grow. We work for both commercial lenders and borrowers on a range of funding transactions, both domestic and cross-border.

    Find out more

    Group Structures

    Working closely with you and your tax advisers and legal advisers in other jurisdictions as appropriate, we develop and implement the optimum corporate group structure for your business, to align legal and operational requirements. This work includes simplification and/or divisionalisation of businesses and legal structures, to achieve effective and efficient use of resources and to integrate acquisitions.

    At what stage is your business?

    Each stage of a business has its own challenges and opportunities. Our corporate lawyers specialise in advising established businesses through to exit.

    Learn more

    Phase four Establishedopen

    You should be thinking about:

    • Staying driven
    • Implementing better business practices
    • Automation and outsourcing
    • The bigger picture – the economy, competitors and changing customer tastes

    Learn how we can help

    Phase five Expansionopen

    You should be thinking about:

    • Adding new products or services to existing markets
    • Expanding your existing business into new markets
    • Joint ventures and licensing opportunities
    • Acquiring other companies – competitors, or assets which will complement, or assist with the diversification, of your existing business
    • The funding and management experience to take the business to another level

    Learn how we can help

    Phase six Matureopen

    You should be thinking about:

    • Reinvention and reinvestment
    • Succession
    • Exit strategy

    Learn how we can help

    Phase seven Exitopen

    You should be thinking about:

    • A proper valuation of your company
    • Optimising your business ahead of sale
    • Making sure the deal is structured in a way which maximises the upside, and minimises the risk
    • Your next professional or personal step after exiting the business

    Learn how we can help

    Corporate Law insights

    View all insights

    Need some more information? Make an enquiry below.

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