January 2010 Archive

Retention of title and insolvent customers

One of the ways to protect your business from the consequences of your insolvent customer's non-payment of goods is to ensure a robust and applicable retention of title clause can be relied upon. An effective retention of title clause operates so that the ownership of your goods stays with you until the goods (and in certain cases, all outstanding debts of the customer) have been paid to you in full. Retention of title clauses can be enforced against a liquidator or administrator, who will either have to return the goods to you or make payment for the goods if they wish to use them.

No waiver clauses called into question by Court of Appeal

The Court of Appeal has thrown into doubt the effectiveness of no waiver clauses in a commercial case with potentially far reaching ramifications. No waiver clauses are a very common feature of the ‘boilerplate’ provisions in commercial contracts and as such they appear in a huge number and variety of agreements. Until very recently there has been little court authority on the enforceability of no waiver clauses.

Business structure is crucial to protect IHT relief

As a shareholder or partner in a trading company, the value of your interest in the business will be covered by 100% Business Property Relief (BPR) and therefore not subject to inheritance tax (IHT) on your death. This valuable relief is designed to prevent the sale of businesses to fund IHT payments on the death of a business owner. However, to protect this relief, the right business structure is crucial.
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