Malcolm ZoppiSun Oct 15 2023
Corporate Legal Advice: Essential Tips for Businesses
Corporate legal advice provides businesses with essential guidance on a wide range of topics.
Corporate Legal Advice: Essential Tips for Businesses
Navigating the complex world of corporate law can be a confusing and challenging process for businesses of all sizes. Whether you are starting a new venture, dealing with a merger or acquisition, or simply navigating day-to-day legal concerns, a solid understanding of corporate legal advice is crucial to ensuring the success of your business. With legislation and regulations constantly evolving, obtaining expert advice in the realms of finance, risk management, compliance, disputes, and intellectual property can be invaluable for protecting your interests and avoiding potential legal pitfalls.
Corporate legal advice encompasses a multitude of areas within commercial law, providing guidance on the responsibilities and liabilities of businesses and their key stakeholders. From examining and choosing the most suitable corporate structure, to negotiating and drafting commercial contracts, legal experts can support you every step of the way. Furthermore, free, bespoke advice tailored to your business or sector can offer insights into matters such as employment law, data protection, and industry-specific regulations, ensuring that your business remains compliant and well-informed at all times.
- Corporate legal advice provides businesses with essential guidance on a wide range of topics, including compliance, contracts, and risk management.
- Expert insight is crucial for navigating the ever-evolving landscape of corporate law and safeguarding your interests.
- Tailored advice specific to your business or industry can offer valuable support in areas such as employment law, data protection, and regulatory compliance.
Understanding Corporate and Commercial Law
When dealing with legal matters in relation to your business, it is essential to understand the distinction between corporate law and commercial law. Corporate law refers to the legal framework governing the formation, governance, and management of companies, while commercial law focuses on the legal regulation of trade and commerce.
As a business owner, you should be familiar with the Companies Act, which is the primary legislation governing corporate law in the United Kingdom. The Companies Act sets out the rules for the formation, operation, and dissolution of companies, including their registration, capital structure, shareholding, and directorship.
Moreover, corporate law governs the legal relationships between the company and its stakeholders, such as shareholders, directors, and employees. This often involves dealing with mergers and acquisitions, shareholder agreements, and company restructurings.
In comparison, commercial law encompasses a wider range of legal areas, including contract law, intellectual property, and competition law. It covers the legal aspects of transactions and business relationships, such as negotiating and drafting contracts, protecting trademarks, and ensuring compliance with competition regulations.
When navigating the complexities of corporate and commercial law, it is important to consider the following factors:
- Be aware of the applicable legislation, such as the Companies Act, that may impact your business operations.
- Identify the legal issues relevant to your business and seek expert advice when necessary.
- Develop strategies to mitigate legal risks, protect your interests, and facilitate smooth business operations.
- Ensure all contracts and agreements are compliant with the relevant laws and regulations.
- Keep up-to-date with changes in the legal landscape that may affect your business.
Remember, while corporate and commercial law are often interrelated, each has its distinct areas of focus. It is crucial to appreciate the differences and adapt your business practices accordingly. If you are unsure about any aspect of corporate or commercial law, it is always advisable to consult a legal professional for guidance.
The Significance of Legal Advice
When navigating the complex world of corporate law, seeking expert legal advice is essential to protect your business and ensure compliance with the necessary regulations. A skilled solicitor or lawyer can provide invaluable guidance on matters ranging from mergers and acquisitions to contract negotiation.
Acquiring legal advice early in the process is helpful, as it may prevent potential issues from escalating into costly legal disputes. Corporate solicitors are trained to identify your business’s specific needs and tailor their advice accordingly, reducing the risk of encountering problems down the line.
One of the primary benefits of expert legal advice is that it offers a thorough understanding of the laws and regulations applicable to your particular industry. This knowledge empowers you to make informed decisions that align with the best interests of your business while observing the relevant legal requirements.
Another advantage of seeking legal advice is the ability to access reliable, up-to-date information. Laws and regulations constantly evolve, and having a solicitor or lawyer to keep you informed ensures that your business remains compliant and able to adapt to new demands.
Additionally, corporate solicitors can assist in contract negotiation, helping and enabling you to safeguard your interests and secure favourable terms. Their expertise in such matters ensures that agreements reached are legally sound and beneficial to your business in the long run.
In summary, the significance of legal advice in corporate law is vast and should not be underestimated. Engaging the services of an expert legal professional can save you time, mitigate potential risks, and keep your business on the right side of the law.
Responsibilities and Liabilities
As a company director, your foremost responsibility lies in managing the company to the best of your abilities, acting honestly, and promoting the success of the business for the benefit of its shareholders. Additionally, you have legal responsibilities towards the company’s employees, trading partners, and the state.
In order to fulfil these responsibilities, it’s crucial to stay knowledgeable about the laws and regulations that apply to your company’s operations. This includes understanding your duties and liabilities as a director, as well as the potential consequences if these duties are not adequately upheld.
You need to be aware of the various aspects that contribute to your responsibilities as a director. Some of these key areas include:
- Contracts: Drafting, reviewing, and negotiating legal contracts on behalf of your company
- Corporate Governance: Ensuring compliance with the corporate governance legal framework, company bye-laws, and procedural guidance
- Company Law: Adhering to and keeping up-to-date with the evolving legislation and regulations that govern your company’s structure, operations, and activities
When considering your legal responsibilities and liabilities, it’s essential to be mindful of the potential for personal liability. If you, as a director, fail to adhere to the necessary legal requirements or are found to have acted dishonestly, you may be held personally liable, which could have a significant impact on your personal assets and reputation.
In the event a director leaves the company or there’s a change in the board composition, it’s worth noting that former directors may also be subject to legal ramifications for their actions during their tenure. This underscores the importance for both current and former directors to remain cautious about their legal responsibilities.
Furthermore, it’s important for shareholders to recognise their role in a company’s operations. While they may not hold positions as directors, shareholders should still remain engaged with the company’s decision-making process and be familiar with details of the company’s legal and fiduciary responsibilities.
In conclusion, as someone involved in the management or ownership of a company, it’s essential for you to be well-versed in your legal responsibilities and potential liabilities. Staying informed and up-to-date with the applicable laws, regulations, and best practices will not only help protect your company and its stakeholders, but it will also contribute to the overall success and growth of your business.
Corporate Structures Exploration
As you venture into the world of corporate legal advice, it is essential to understand the variety of corporate structures and how they affect your business dealings. In this section, we will be discussing several corporate structures, related topics including mergers, acquisitions, joint ventures, limited liability partnerships, and more, along with the associated diligence involved.
One common corporate structure is the merger – the combining of two or more businesses. Mergers can enable businesses to pool resources, share knowledge, eliminate competition and expand into new markets. On the other hand, acquisitions involve one company purchasing a majority stake in another. This takeover often results in the acquiring company gaining control and absorbing the acquired company’s assets and operations.
Mergers and acquisitions (M&A) are complex transactions that involve careful planning, negotiation, and due diligence. Due diligence is a key aspect of both mergers and acquisitions, as it allows you to investigate and assess the financial and legal risks involved in a transaction. This process entails examining the target company’s financial records, contracts, employment agreements, intellectual property, and regulatory compliance. Thorough due diligence can help you make informed decisions and avoid potential liabilities.
Another option for small businesses seeking expansion or collaborative opportunities is establishing a joint venture. In joint ventures, two or more companies form a separate legal entity, sharing in the profits, risks, and management responsibilities. This collaboration allows both companies to benefit from each other’s expertise and access to resources without the need for a full merger or acquisition.
For businesses looking to protect their owners from personal liabilities, limited liability partnerships (LLPs) are a popular choice. In an LLP, partners are not personally responsible for the company’s debts and liabilities, thus safeguarding their personal assets. This type of partnership offers the benefits of limited liability while maintaining the flexibility of a traditional partnership structure.
Apart from LLPs, there are also traditional partnerships, where two or more individuals or companies join together to run a business. In this structure, partners share in the profits and losses, and members are personally responsible for the debts and liabilities of the partnership.
When exploring different options for corporate structures for your business, it is crucial to seek professional legal advice. This guidance will help you understand the advantages and drawbacks of each option, ensuring you make the best decision for your company’s long-term success.
## Finance and Taxation
Managing your company’s finances and taxes is a crucial aspect of operating a successful business. Your financial transactions carry tax implications, whether you are an individual or a fully-fledged company. Ensuring that your business remains compliant with tax regulations can help safeguard your assets and minimise financial risks.
Understanding Tax Obligations
Being knowledgeable about your corporation’s tax obligations is essential. This includes being aware of your financial responsibilities with HMRC (Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs), the authority responsible for collecting taxes in the UK. Familiarise yourself with the various taxes your business may be liable for, such as corporate tax, VAT, PAYE, and National Insurance contributions. Keeping accurate records and filing tax returns on time can help prevent penalties and fines.
Dealing with Debts
Dealing with debts effectively is vital to maintaining the financial health of your business. Manage your debts by creating a repayment plan and prioritising payments based on interest rates or amounts owed. If necessary, seek professional guidance to develop strategies for reducing or restructuring your debts. This will ensure that your business remains in good financial standing.
Investments and Funds
Investing in your business is an essential component of growth and success. Evaluate your company’s financial performance and identify opportunities for investment in areas like research and development, new technologies, or hiring skilled employees. Be sure to budget and allocate funds responsibly to maximise the return on your investments while also maintaining a safety net for unexpected expenses.
Seeking Professional Advice
Legal experts can offer valuable advice on various aspects of corporate finance and taxation, such as tax planning strategies, risk evaluation, and compliance with regulations. These professionals can help assess your current financial situation and provide guidance on the most effective methods to optimise your tax liabilities while remaining compliant with the law. By seeking expert legal advice, you can ensure that your business operations are robust and backed by sound financial decisions.
Remember to always stay updated on changes in taxation laws and regulations, and seek professional assistance whenever you encounter complex financial issues or uncertainties. This approach will help you maintain financial stability and mitigate risks involved in your company’s day-to-day operations.
Risk Assessment and Restructuring
In today’s ever-changing business landscape, it’s crucial for you to constantly assess risks and consider restructuring options to meet shifting client demands. This section will dive into the importance of risk assessment, restructuring, reorganisations, and demergers in the context of corporate legal advice.
Understanding risks and anticipating potential issues can save your business from costly pitfalls. Begin by identifying and evaluating risks that may impact your organisation. This involves considering internal and external factors, such as market changes, operational processes, and regulatory compliance. Being proactive in risk management enables you to make more informed decisions and select the most suitable growth strategies.
Restructuring is one way to address identified risks while also streamlining operations. Approaching restructuring with a clear legal framework ensures that your former company structure remains compliant with laws and regulations. Seeking expert corporate legal advice will help you navigate complex legal issues and achieve a successful restructuring.
Reorganisations may involve a variety of changes, such as concentrating resources in specific departments, introducing new governance models, or implementing strategic shifts in business focus. Your corporate legal counsel can guide you through the reorganisation process, ensuring that your actions remain within legal boundaries and the resulting new structure adheres to legal requirements.
Demergers, where a company splits into two or more separate entities, can also be a strategic move to mitigate risks or unlock value. Demergers require careful planning and compliance with numerous legal guidelines. Engaging in professional legal advice can help you address legal matters such as asset transfers, contractual obligations, and tax implications to ensure a smooth demerger process.
In conclusion, continuous risk assessment and considering various restructuring options are essential tools for keeping your business agile and resilient. Harnessing the expertise of corporate legal advisors to guide you through each aspect of these processes ensures both compliance and enhanced strategic decision-making, ultimately leading to business success.
Disputes and Litigation
In the world of business, it is essential to handle disputes and litigation effectively to protect your interests. When faced with a contentious matter, such as disagreement over international trade, commodities, banking, financial services, or insurance, it’s important to have a well-planned strategy in place to minimise disruption and protect your reputation.
To safeguard your position, seek legal advice from experienced professionals who can provide you with strategic, commercial counselling regarding a wide range of disputes. Specialists in dispute resolution and litigation understand the complexities of corporate law and will draw on their expertise to guide you through the process, whether it be at the negotiation table or before a court.
As a business owner or director, you need to be aware of the various methods available for resolving disputes. Common approaches include arbitration and mediation. Depending on the specificities of your case, alternative dispute resolution processes may be more cost-effective and efficient in achieving your desired outcome.
In the event that a dispute escalates to litigation, it’s vital to have a knowledgeable legal team on your side. They will help you prepare your case and represent your interests in court. A strong litigation strategy will involve a thorough examination of evidence, the identification of weaknesses in the opposing party’s arguments, and the development of persuasive legal arguments.
Director disqualification is a serious matter that can arise as a consequence of disputes or litigation. If you find yourself facing the possibility of disqualification, ensure you obtain expert legal advice to help you understand and exercise your rights.
In summary, handling disputes and litigation effectively requires a combination of strategic thinking, expert guidance, and understanding of legal processes. By following the above advice and seeking assistance from experienced legal professionals, you can protect your business interests and navigate the often challenging landscape of corporate law.
Intellectual Property and Technology
In today’s fast-paced business environment, protecting your intellectual property (IP) and staying updated on technological advancements is essential. As you navigate the complex landscape of IP and technology, seeking legal advice can help safeguard your business interests and ensure compliance with relevant laws and regulations.
Intellectual property protection: To protect your IP rights, it is crucial to identify, manage, and enforce them. Legal advisors can guide you through the process of registering patents, trademarks, and copyrights, as well as drafting and negotiating licensing agreements. In case of disputes, such as IP infringement, experienced solicitors can provide support in litigation and dispute resolution.
Technology contracts and agreements: Ensuring your IT and commercial contracts are legally sound is vital in managing risk and securing favourable terms. Legal professionals can assist you in drafting, reviewing, and negotiating contracts, including service level agreements, ICT acquisition contracts, and outsourced managed services. They can also help you understand relevant regulations, such as data protection laws, to ensure compliance.
International IP considerations: As your business expands into new territories, managing and enforcing IP rights abroad becomes crucial. Legal experts can offer specific advice on international IP laws and support you in obtaining and enforcing IP rights in different jurisdictions.
By engaging qualified legal professionals to provide advice on intellectual property and technology matters, you can confidently protect your business assets, stay updated on the latest technological advances, and foster innovation within your organisation.
Employment law is a crucial aspect of managing your business, as it affects every stage of the employment relationship. This area of law provides both employees and employers with rights, obligations, and guidelines to ensure a fair and productive work environment.
As an employer, it’s essential to be familiar with key employment law concepts, which can help you avoid potential legal disputes and maintain a healthy relationship with your employees. For instance, you should be aware of the rules governing pay and wages, discrimination, and redundancy.
Employment Contracts and Agreements
One of the first interactions with employment law is the creation of an employment contract. This legally binding document outlines the terms and conditions of the employment relationship and the obligations of both you and your employee. It’s vital to have a well-drafted contract to minimise the risk of misunderstandings and disputes.
In the UK, discrimination is prohibited on the grounds of protected characteristics such as age, sex, race, disability, and sexual orientation. As an employer, you are legally obligated to ensure equal treatment of all your employees, in terms of hiring, promotion, and remuneration. It’s crucial to have clear policies and practices in place to prevent discrimination in the workplace.
Redundancy and TUPE
Redundancy may become necessary due to business reorganisation or financial difficulties. It’s important to follow the correct procedures and comply with the law when making redundancies to avoid potential legal issues. Additionally, the Transfer of Undertakings (Protection of Employment) (TUPE) regulations protect employees’ rights during business transfers or mergers.
Advice and Support
It’s in your best interest to stay informed about changes or updates to employment law in the UK. Organisations such as Acas offer free and confidential advice to employers, employees, and their representatives on a range of employment law issues.
By familiarising yourself with the key aspects of employment law, you can protect your business and contribute to a fair and harmonious workplace for you and your employees. Don’t hesitate to seek legal advice or assistance when needed to ensure you are operating within the requirements of the law.
GDPR and Data Protection
As a business owner, it’s crucial to understand the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and how it affects your company. GDPR is an EU regulation that has been incorporated into UK law through the Data Protection Act 2018. It sets out key principles, rights, and obligations when processing personal data, ensuring that businesses handle this type of information responsibly and securely.
Compliance is essential. GDPR aims to protect individuals’ personal data and gives them more control over how their information is used. Your business should have appropriate policies and procedures in place to meet the requirements of GDPR. This includes conducting data protection impact assessments, appointing a data protection officer if necessary, and reporting data breaches within 72 hours.
Employee data matters. Data protection has a significant impact on handling recruitment, employee record-keeping, and other HR activities, such as performance monitoring and references. As an employer, you are responsible for understanding and complying with data protection obligations. Failure to do so can result in fines and reputational damage.
Secure your data. Implementing appropriate technical and organisational measures to protect your clients’ and employees’ information is a key aspect of GDPR. This may involve encryption, regular testing of your systems, and ensuring staff are properly trained in data protection.
Know your rights and obligations. GDPR provides individuals with rights concerning their personal data, such as the right to access, rectify, or erase their information. As a business, you must be prepared to respond to these requests in a timely manner. Additionally, ensure that your website and any third-party processors you work with also comply with GDPR.
By understanding and adhering to the GDPR and Data Protection Act 2018, your business will not only protect sensitive information but also build trust with customers, clients, and employees.
In the realm of corporate legal advice, it is essential to seek out firms with experience in your specific sector. You’ll benefit from their knowledge of your industry’s regulations and the specific legal issues that arise in your sector. This section explores the importance of sector specialisation for various industries, including banking, life sciences, retail, leisure, construction, insurance, and healthcare.
When dealing with banking, you’ll need legal professionals who understand the complexities of financial regulations and compliance. They can advise on matters like mergers and acquisitions, anti-money laundering policies, and investment strategies. In life sciences, the sector specialisation is vital as these companies often deal with intellectual property law, product liability, and regulatory approval processes.
Retail and leisure sectors demand legal advisers who have experience in commercial property, licensing, and franchise agreements. They’ll be able to help you navigate through various legal issues, including consumer rights, employment law, and health and safety regulations. In construction, it’s crucial to choose legal advisers with a deep understanding of contract law, dispute resolution, and planning and environment regulations to ensure the smooth running of your projects.
The insurance industry faces unique challenges, such as regulatory compliance, policy drafting, and risk management. Lawyers specialising in this sector will be familiar with these issues and can proactively support your business in handling complex claims and avoiding potential pitfalls.
Finally, in the healthcare sector, legal advisers must be well-versed in areas like medical malpractice, informed consent, patient privacy, and reimbursement policies. Their sector specialisation ensures they can provide accurate and timely advice to help you minimise risks and maintain compliance.
In conclusion, whatever your industry, seeking corporate legal advice from a firm with a strong focus on sector specialisation can make a significant difference in the success of your operations. Expertise in your domain ensures that your legal advisers will provide tailored, knowledgeable, and efficient assistance in navigating the unique challenges of your sector.
Insolvency and Administration
When your company faces financial difficulties and becomes unable to pay its debts, it may be considered insolvent. Insolvency can lead to administration, which is a process aimed at rescuing the company or achieving the best outcome for its creditors.
As you confront insolvency, it’s essential to seek professional legal advice. The right guidance can help you explore your options and develop the best strategy for your company’s future. Administrators, who are licensed insolvency practitioners, play a crucial role in the administration process.
During administration, the company is protected from legal actions by its creditors. This offers your company breathing space to implement a restructuring plan or find a buyer. In this process, administrators take control of your company’s affairs and make decisions regarding its assets, contracts, and employees.
There are two main objectives of administration, which are:
- To rescue the company as a going concern, or
- To achieve a better result for the company’s creditors than a liquidation scenario.
To initiate the administration process, you or a qualified insolvency practitioner must file documents with the court and notify the relevant parties. Once administrators are appointed, they must also take certain steps in line with the Insolvency Act 1986, including:
- Preparing and submitting a statement of proposals to creditors within eight weeks of their appointment.
- Holding a virtual or physical meeting with creditors to approve the proposals.
- Periodically updating creditors on the progress and outcome of the administration.
Remember that communication with your creditors is vital throughout the process. This fosters trust and can help increase the chances of a successful outcome for your company. Additionally, it’s important to note that administration is just one of the business rescue options available, and alternative solutions such as Company Voluntary Arrangements (CVAs) or informal workouts should also be considered.
In conclusion, facing insolvency and administration can be a challenging experience, but seeking expert legal advice and working closely with administrators can help lead your company towards a favourable outcome.
Starting a Business
When you decide to embark on the journey of starting a business, it’s crucial to have a clear understanding of the legal and regulatory aspects. As an entrepreneur or start-up founder, getting early legal advice can not only help prevent future legal problems but also protect your business and save you money in the long run.
Choosing the right legal structure for your business is essential, as it determines the level of personal liability you may face, the taxes you’ll need to pay, and the administrative responsibilities you’ll need to handle. You can opt for a sole trader, partnership, limited company, or limited liability partnership, depending on your business needs and objectives.
Seek professional help from start-up solicitors or specialised legal advisors to ensure your business adheres to all relevant regulations. They can guide you on contractual agreements, employment law, intellectual property protection, and other essential legal matters specific to your industry.
Financing and taxes are vital for start-ups and entrepreneurs. Understand the available sources of finance, their legal implications, and ensure that a lender’s terms are fair. Familiarise yourself with tax obligations relevant to your business structure, such as corporation tax, VAT, income tax, and national insurance contributions.
Protect your business interests by drafting well-thought-out business documents, including shareholder agreements, supplier contracts, and partnership agreements, to minimise potential disputes and risks. Legal advice will help you ensure that these documents are robust, comprehensive, and in line with your business goals.
Finally, stay informed and updated about the ever-changing legal landscape that affects your business. Regularly consult with your legal advisor to keep track of any new regulations, requirements, or industry-specific laws that might impact your start-up. By being proactive, you can effectively navigate the complexities of corporate legal advice and contribute to the long-term success of your business.
Compliance and Regulation
In the world of corporate legal advice, it is crucial for you to stay informed about compliance and regulation. These two concepts refer to the rules and policies that govern the way your business operates, ensuring that ethical and legal guidelines are strictly followed.
When it comes to compliance, your focus should be on understanding the multitude of laws and policies regulating your business. This is essential in order to avoid potential penalties, fines, or even prosecution. Keep in mind that each industry has its own set of regulations, so remaining updated on the specific requirements for your sector is paramount.
To maintain a robust compliance and ethics programme, you may consider seeking assistance from regulatory lawyers and professionals. These experts can help to navigate complex regulations and ensure that your business is adhering to all legal standards. Firms like Irwin Mitchell Solicitors and Freeths offer regulatory and compliance advice for a wide range of industries.
Regulation, on the other hand, involves the enforcement and implementation of rules and policies dictated by various regulatory bodies. In the UK, there are multiple agencies that regulate different industries, such as the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and the Health and Safety Executive (HSE). It is your responsibility to cooperate with these bodies and implement good corporate governance within your organisation.
To promote strong corporate governance, you should become familiar with the UK Corporate Governance Code, which sets out the guidelines for best practice. Adhering to these principles can help ensure transparency, accountability, and ethical conduct across your business operations.
Ultimately, keeping up-to-date with compliance and regulation is essential for any business that wants to maintain a strong legal standing. By leveraging the expertise of legal professionals and abiding by established guidelines, you can create an environment built on trust, transparency, and a commitment to ethical business practices.
Frequently Asked Questions
What are the key considerations when setting up a new business?
When setting up a new business, you should consider the following factors: choosing the right business structure, registering your company with appropriate government bodies, understanding taxation and accounting requirements, obtaining any necessary licenses or permits, and protecting intellectual property. Additionally, implementing clear and legally sound contracts with employees, clients, and suppliers is crucial for your business’s long-term success.
How can I protect my company against legal issues?
To protect your company against legal issues, ensure compliance with local and national regulations by staying informed and regularly reviewing relevant laws. Regular consultations with a corporate lawyer or legal advisor can help identify potential risks early on. Implementing solid contracts and maintaining accurate records of all business transactions will further strengthen your company’s legal standing.
When should I consult a business solicitor?
It is advised to consult a business solicitor when setting up your business, dealing with complex legal matters, or facing potential litigation. Other situations that warrant legal advice include drafting or reviewing contracts, protecting intellectual property, and navigating mergers and acquisitions.
Find out more!
If you want to read more in this subject area, you might find some of our other blogs interesting:
- What does a commercial lawyer do?
- Can a Solicitor Sign a Contract on My Behalf? Explained in Clarity
- How Does a Share Purchase Agreement Work?
- What is Due Diligence in Law?
- Can a Non-Lawyer draft a contract?
- How to Write a Legally Binding Contract: Expert Guidance for Success
- 5 Things to Include in a Business Purchase Agreement
- Do I Need a Lawyer for Buying a Business?
- Who Gets the Money When a Company is Sold?
- Legal Considerations on the Purchase or Sale of a Business
Disclaimer: This document has been prepared for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal or financial advice. You should always seek independent professional advice and not rely on the content of this document as every individual circumstance is unique. Additionally, this document is not intended to prejudge the legal, financial or tax position of any person.
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