Advising the Family Owned Business
examines the legal issues of particular relevance to family owned businesses. Often those issues stem from underlying family dynamics. Therefore advisors from all disciplines need to be aware of the complexity created by these factors as well as the legal and commercial issues. This new book contains an introduction to the key elements of family business thinking that have emerged over the last 30 years to explain these dynamics and links these to relevant areas of professional practice.
A key challenge is that professionals increasingly operate from ever narrower silos of specialisation, whereas the needs of their family business clients cross many practice areas. The book is intended to provide practitioners with an overview of family business issues from practice areas adjacent to their own, to help them offer rounded advice to family business clients. Coverage includes:
Advising the Family Owned Business
- An Introduction to Family Business Dynamics
- Management and Ownership Succession
- Family Business Governance
- Family Business and Employment
- Family Partnerships
- The Family Name
- Selling the Family Business
- Family Business Trusts
- Marriage and the Family Business
- Family Business Disputes
- The Family Business and Property
will be relevant to lawyers, to other professionals and to those directly engaged in family businesses.
- Business Issues
- Family and Business Overlap
- The family dimension – Just Family Business?
- Family Ownership
- Non Family Owners
- Family Business Leadership
- Employee Ownership
- Family Business Practice
This book would not have come into being without the help of a great number of people.
The support and encouragement of friends and family has been invaluable, especially my wife Susan, without whose long term amnesty on decorating projects the book may never have been written.
Most of the thinking included in the book is the result of countless hours of discussions with family business clients and colleagues from across the family business movement. In terms of both the frequency and depth of discussion, the time spent with my former colleague Emma Rudge stands out, closely followed by other members of the Veale Wasbrough Vizards family business team and colleagues from the International Centre for Families in Business (ICFIB) network. To the greatest extent possible sources have been acknowledged in the body of the book. However it would not be possible to identify, much less list, all of the source and influences that have helped me to arrive at the current stage of my family business journey.
More precisely a considerable number of colleagues have made direct and extremely valuable contributions to the book itself, for example by producing first drafts the legal or technical content forming part of the chapters, reviewing drafts of other chapters or in some cases both. Unless otherwise stated these are past or present colleagues from Veale Wasbrough Vizards. In detail these are:
Part A – The Family Owned Business and its Dynamics
David Pierce of D R Pierce Consultancy Limited and John Tucker of the Family Business Consultancy for the contributions they have each made to these chapters including reviewing and commentating on various drafts.
Part B – Business Matters
David Pierce who wrote chapter 4 on Tax Basics and the Family Business Structure and did so whilst struggling with serious health issues, together with his former partner Ruth Dooley of Hazlewoods accountants and Emma Bradley tax partner of Veale Wasbrough Vizards, who reviewed this chapter.
Various members of the employment team at Veale Wasbrough Vizards contributed text for chapters 5 and 6 (Employing Family Members and Non-family Employees, respectively) and/or reviewed later drafts of these chapters, including, Victoria McMeel, Paul Esmiley, Matthew Welch, Michael Halsey, Sarah Want and Jessica Ryan.
Thanks are due to Professor Andrew Keay of Leeds University for his review of and helpful comments in relation to chapter 8 (Director's Duties) also to Emma Rudge and Richard Hiscoke for their work on this.
Paula Williams and Steve McGuigan wrote the legal content for chapters 9 and 10 (The Name above the Door and Property and the Family Firm Respectively). David Pierce also provided tax and commercial comments on aspects of the latter chapter.
Part C - Ownership
So far as the section on ownership is concerned, once again David Pierce contributed comments on commercial and valuation points for chapter 12 (Selling the Family Business) which David Emanuel kindly reviewed. Jos Moule provided comments on chapter 13 (Family Partnerships).
Natalie Payne produced an early draft of chapter 14 (Family Business Trusts) and Edward Cumming of XXIV, Old Buildings Lincoln’s Inn provided many detailed comments and insights, which have been incorporated into the final draft.
So far as chapter 16 (Tax and Family Ownership) is concerned, once again thanks are due to David Pierce, who wrote this chapter and to his former partners Ruth Dooley and Peter Griffiths of Hazlewoods, together with Emma Bradley tax partner of Veale Wasbrough Vizards, who each reviewed parts of this chapter.
Part D – Family Matters
I am grateful to Irene Pedder, Chair of the Clark’s Shareholder Council for reviewing and commenting on the case study on the Clark’s governance system contained in chapter 17.
The chapter on the family business and marriage (chapter 18) was a truly collaborative effort with original content provided by Oliver Early, with Samantha Hickman of Veale Wasbrough Vizards and Andrew Commins of St John’s Chambers in Bristol both contributing many helpful thoughts and suggestions which have been included in the final draft.
Julia Hardy can be thanked for her contribution in preparing the first draft and reviewing final drafts of chapter 19 (Inheritance Disputes) and for her enthusiasm and commitment to this project generally.
Part E - Family Business Disputes
Huge thanks are due to Andrew Marsden of Commercial Chambers Bristol for his sterling contribution in reviewing all five chapters dealing with the legal aspects of disputes in family companies contained in this part.
Part F – The Family Business Advisor
John Tucker of the Family Business Consultancy shared his wisdom and experience, which added significantly to the chapter on process consulting and the role of the family business consultant (chapter 25). Similarly chapter 26 (Advising the Family Business Client) was tempered and hardened by robust discussions with Claire Ainley the Veale Wasbrough Vizards compliance partner.
Kate Hather, Mary Kenny and their colleagues at Jordan Publishing, now part of LexisNexis, together with my editor Tracy Robinson provided huge support and valuable guidance, without which as a first time author, I would have struggled to take the concept of this book through to the finished article. The practical assistance of Katie Hanson in keeping track of innumerable drafts of the various chapters has been invaluable.
But the final vote of thanks must go to my friend and colleague John Tucker, who not only introduced me to the particular challenges of advising family owned businesses over 15 years ago, but who has been a constant guide and companion on that fascinating and rewarding journey ever since.
There is something unique about family businesses – from the local shopkeeper to the international corporation. The ethos of a family business is special. Because the business and the product it sells is attached so intimately to a person and their relations, I believe that family businesses look at the world differently than other businesses.
Family businesses see themselves in terms of their legacy. They take a much longer-term approach to investment often making sustainable investment that leaves them better able to weather inevitable storms.
And this ethos and good practice is passed down from family member to family member, but also to the staff who are employed in the business. Working for a family business means working for a family, and staff turnover is often much lower than in other businesses.
But these strengths can also be weaknesses. A refusal to change or a lack of outside objectivity can stop a family business from achieving its true potential. A good family businesses knows that there are times to look for outside help.
That is why I am very pleased this book is available to help family business and their advisors deal with the particular issues they face. Succession, ownership, and disputes are taken to a whole new level when family is involved!
I am an enthusiastic supporter of the family business model. It is a business model as old as business itself. It is strong today, and I have no doubt that it will continue to thrive in the future as long as family businesses continue to evolve and adapt to the changing world. This book will help them do just that.
John Stevenson is MP for Carlisle, Chair of The All-Party Parliamentary Group for Family Business, and is a practicing solicitor and partner at Bendles LLP solicitors
Claire Ainley, Compliance Partner, Veale Wasbrough Vizards
Emma Bradley, Tax Partner, Veale Wasbrough Vizards
Andrew Commins, St John’s Chambers
Edward Cumming, XXIV, Old Buildings Lincoln’s Inn
Ruth Dooley, Hazlewoods Accountants
David Emanuel, Veale Wasbrough Vizards
Paul Esmiley, Foot Anstey
Peter Griffiths, Hazlewoods Accountants
Michael Halsey, Veale Wasbrough Vizards
Katie Hanson, Veale Wasbrough Vizards
Julia Hardy, Veale Wasbrough Vizards
Samantha Hickman, Veale Wasbrough Vizards
Richard Hiscoke, Veale Wasbrough Vizards
Professor Andrew Keay, Leeds University
Andrew Marsden, Commercial Chambers Bristol
Steve McGuigan, Veale Wasbrough Vizards
Victoria McMeel, Bevan Brittan LLP
Jos Moule, Veale Wasbrough Vizards
Natalie Payne, Mackrell Turner Garrett
Irene Pedder, Chair, Clark’s Shareholder Council
David Pierce, D R Pierce Consultancy Limited
Emma Rudge, Michelmores LLP
Jessica Scott-Dye, Veale Wasbrough Vizards
John Tucker, Family Business Consultancy
Sarah Want, Veale Wasbrough Vizards
Paula Williams, Veale Wasbrough Vizards
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