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Greene & Greene is a long established firm of solicitors based in Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk. Our lawyers advise individuals and businesses based all over the UK.

We regularly attract new clients who have been using firms in London, but now receive a more cost efficient and more personal service from us here in Bury St Edmunds.

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Entries in Corporate Finance (7)

Tuesday
Sep082015

Greene & Greene advises Nexus Underwriting Management on the acquisition of EBA

 

Leading Suffolk law firm Greene & Greene has advised Nexus Underwriting Management Limited on its acquisition of EBA Insurance Services.  London headquartered EBA also has operations in France and Italy, underwriting on behalf of Lloyd's syndicates and other insurance companies, as well as placing insurance in the Lloyd's market.

The Greene & Greene team was led by Simon Ratcliffe, an insurance specialist Partner in the Corporate team in Bury St Edmunds, who was closely supported by solicitor Andrew Cooper and employment Partner Selene Holden.

Nexus is one of the largest independent Specialty Managing General Agents in the London insurance market with its Gross Written Premium due to surpass US$135 million in 2015, which has enjoyed dynamic growth both organically and by acquisition since its origins in 2008.    EBA was founded by seasoned insurance professionals in 1999 to serve European and worldwide clients and currently produces €30 million gross written premium per annum.  As part of the transaction, the existing management team of Simon Barker, Christina Spelman and Tony McCallum will continue to lead the business as a subsidiary of the Nexus Group.

Colin Thomson, Group Chief Executive Officer of Nexus commented:

“We are delighted to complete the acquisition of EBA, one of the leading specialist MGAs in Europe.  We have been impressed by the enthusiasm that the EBA management team have for joining us at Nexus and are excited about the prospect of growing our business further.  Simon Ratcliffe, Andrew Cooper and their team at Greene & Greene have been a great support to me and my fellow directors through this process and over the last 7 years as advisers to our company, for which we are very grateful.

Simon Ratcliffe of Greene & Greene added:

"We are delighted to have helped Nexus finalise the acquisition of EBA and to continue our support of Nexus's growth strategyThis is another great acquisition for Nexus, who remain a highly valued client of the firm.” 

Greene & Greene’s involvement in the acquisition of EBA follows on from its lead role in advising Nexus on its acquisition of professional risks and trade credit insurance businesses from Novae Syndicates in 2011 and 2012 respectively, as well as advising on the multi-million pound investment by B.P. Marsh & Partners plc into Nexus in 2014 and 2015.

 

Wednesday
Mar182015

Advice to my Younger Self

The following article was published in the 'We'd Like You to Meet' section of Business East Magazine on Tuesday, 17th March 2015.

Chris Thomson is the Senior Partner at Greene & Greene and specialises in intellectual property, corporate finance and commercial work, including acquisitions, disposals, financing and restructuring of businesses. For advice or guidance please contact Chris on 01284 717412 or email christhomson@greene-greene.com.

Additional information on Greene & Greene can be found at www.greene-greene.com or follow us on Twitter @greenegreenelaw.

Wednesday
Dec182013

Update on TUPE Changes

Earlier this month, we reported that the Government had published draft regulations which will revise the Transfer of Undertakings (Protection of Employment) Regulations 2006 (“TUPE”). Today it has been announced by BIS (the government’s Department for Business, Innovation and Skills) that the proposed changes will come into force on 31 January 2014.

Our previous blog, which set out the key changes due to be implemented can be accessed by following this link: Changes to TUPE Regulations on the horizon.

For further information, please contact Robyn Armes, Selene Holden or Jemma Jones  in our employment team at Greene & Greene

Robyn advises on a wide range of contentious and non-contentious employment matters including: reviewing and drafting employee handbooks and policies, redundancy and restructuring advice, preparation and review of contracts of employment and more.

Also find Robyn on:      Google +        LinkedIn

Thursday
Dec052013

Changes to TUPE Regulations on the horizon


Last month, draft regulations were published which will introduce a number of changes to the Transfer of Undertakings (Protection of Employment) Regulations 2006 (“TUPE”) with effect from January 2014.  Many of you will be aware of this legislation, which ensures continuity of employment upon a business transfer, the outsourcing of services or, in some circumstances, a change of service provider.  Set out below are some of the main changes which will be introduced:  

1.    Small companies (those with less than 10 employees) will be able to consult directly with individual employees about TUPE transfers, rather than having to go through the process of electing representatives. This change will apply only to transfers which take place 6 months after the TUPE legislation is formally amended.

2.    Under the current law, TUPE automatically applies to situations where there is a change in service provider, for example where a service previously carried out by the business is outsourced (such as IT) or where there is a change of contractor (such as substituting one cleaning firm for another). From January, however, TUPE may not apply to such a change in provider if the activities carried out before and after the transfer differ.

3.    When the amendments come into force, where the transfer results in redundancies due to a change in work location, those redundancies have the potential to be fair under TUPE (whereas at present the law suggests that such dismissals would be automatically unfair).

4.    There will be increased scope for employers to change employees’ terms and conditions of employment after the transfer, where the changes proposed are not too closely linked with the transfer.

5.    In order to counteract situations where the new employer is perpetually bound by terms of employment agreed collectively (for example through a union) without having been involved in any of the negotiations, under the new regulations the new employer will not be bound by any future collective decisions of the old employer. In addition, the new employer will be allowed to make changes to existing collectively agreed terms after 12 months (provided that any revised terms are no less favourable as a whole).

6.    The outgoing employer will be obliged to provide certain, prescribed employee liability information to the new employer much earlier in the TUPE process (at least 28 days prior to the transfer). This is intended to help make the process more transparent.

This article was prepared by Robyn Armes in our employment team at Greene & Greene. The contents of the article are for general information only but if you would like to know more about the changes to the TUPE Regulations, feel free to contact Robyn, Selene Holden or Jemma Jones  at Greene & Greene for more information.

Robyn advises on a wide range of contentious and non-contentious employment matters including: reviewing and drafting employee handbooks and policies, redundancy and restructuring advice, preparation and review of contracts of employment and more.

Also find Robyn on:      Google +        LinkedIn

Monday
Aug052013

Securing Bank Funding for your Corporate Transaction

How often have you heard in the last few years that banks are not open for business and are not lending? Well, if what we have been witnessing at Greene & Greene is anything to go by, we appear to be turning a corner. Our five corporate lawyers have recently been involved in a number of deals involving bank lending, including:

  • a million pound facility extension to fund the acquisition of a business;
  • the re-banking of a half million pound overdraft;
  • a multi-million pound facility for a Cambridge residential property development;
  • a loan to buy out a company’s minority shareholders; and
  • a multi-million pound facility to fund a care home development.

We have seen deals taking a bit longer and banks are regularly requiring personal guarantees and/or enhanced security, which has not necessarily been to the liking of many borrowers. However, banks are now obliged under international banking conventions (Basel III) to only lend with appropriate security, which was designed to ensure that banks remain properly capitalised.


I recently attended a Bury St Edmunds Chamber of Commerce meeting, featuring the MP for Bury St Edmunds, David Ruffley, as its guest speaker. Mr Ruffley has sat on the Treasury Select Committee since November 2010 and famously grilled Bob Diamond, the then chief executive of Barclays, over the LIBOR scandal. During the lively debate with Chamber members, he was highly critical of the whole industry and refused to believe that lending to SMEs had significantly increased.


The meeting was well attended by the local banking community, who stood up for themselves and an Area Director for one of the major banks firmly refuted Mr Ruffley’s assertions on lending to SMEs, quoting the latest statistics for his bank in East Anglia.  A Chamber member responded to say that his business had recently been offered a bank loan to help fund an office move and fit-out, subject to receipt of substantial personal guarantees from the directors. Mr Ruffley conceded that banks had been put in an impossible position by the Coalition – criticised for insufficient lending to SMEs, whilst being encouraged to increase their capital reserves and reduce bad debts.


Banks are looking for loan applicants to be holding robust business plans and forecasts which can stand up to scrutiny. Top tips for securing funding include:

  • have accurate and up-to-date financial data to hand and know it inside out;
  • show how you will service the debt, fund your ongoing cash flow and pay down the debt;
  • make sure you know the value of any assets that you may be asked to put up as security and be able to back it up with independent, cautious valuations;
  • get to see the right person. This can be assisted by recommendation or introduction and try to develop a relationship with your bank manager - the better they understand your business, the higher the chances of you securing your required facility; and
  • be realistic with your expectations. If you are not willing to take any risk in terms of security, why should the bank take the risk of lending to you?

If your business does not tick the appropriate boxes for the major high-street lenders, there are alternative sources of funding. This includes the "white knights" and private investors willing to invest in SMEs.


Seeing a poor rate of return on their savings, it can prove to be an excellent investment and they can often bring considerable expertise and experience to the table.

(Originally published in East Anglian Daily Times - Business East Monthly (16th July 2013))


If you require any further information or wish to discuss this article in more detail, please contact Mark Daly on 01284 717500 ~ markdaly@greene-greene.com ~ @markdalybse ~ @greenegreenelaw

Mark joined Greene & Greene in 2010 and became a company commercial partner in 2012. Mark has experience of acting for a variety of public and private companies, partnerships, start-ups and sole traders.

Also find Mark on:      Google +        LinkedIn         Twitter

 

Tuesday
Aug072012

Crowdfunding: An Alternative Source of Finance During a Challenging Economic Climate

We are consistently told the major banks are ‘open for business’ but it goes without saying that obtaining credit has never been more difficult with strict criteria in place for borrowing.

Some businesses may find it appropriate to explore invoice discounting or factoring but these solutions are not appropriate in all circumstances.

A new trend has emerged for crowd finance.  This can take one of three forms:

(a) Peer to peer crowd lending - consumers bidding to contribute to a business loan at competitive rates of interest (see fundingcircle.com which has lent nearly £40m since its inception in August 2010);

(b) Reward crowd funding - projects are funded by donations in return for incentives of a non-financial nature, for example, a band funds the recording of its new album by donations from fans who, in return, receive a signed CD (see the US website kickstarter.com which endeavours to raise $150m of project finance for its participants in 2012; a UK launch is planned for late 2012); and

(c) Equity crowd funding - entrepreneurs seeking investment (rather than a loan) make an online pitch for investors to subscribe for shares in the company in a tax efficient way (via EIS and SEIS tax reliefs) from as little as £10. It’s an opportunity to play Dragons’ Den from the comfort of your own home, albeit a high risk investment strategy that’s not appropriate for most people. In the UK, crowdcube.com has raised nearly £4m to date (average amount raised by entrepreneurs being £169,000 and average investment per member being £2,562) and has recently been joined in the market by competitor seedrs.com.

As a commercial lawyer, I find this rapidly developing funding community fascinating and, in certain circumstances, see it as a viable alternative to more traditional sources of finance.

The contents of this article are for general information only.  To discuss your funding requirements in more detail and seek advice on different forms of raising debt or equity, contact Mark Daly on 01284 717500 or email markdaly@greene-greene.com.

Article Published: Velvet magazine, August 2012

Mark joined Greene & Greene in 2010 and became a company commercial partner in 2012. Mark has experience of acting for a variety of public and private companies, partnerships, start-ups and sole traders.

Also find Mark on:      Google +        LinkedIn         Twitter