Recent News

This article was written for the benefit of other solicitors published in late July in the summer 2021 edition of Solo, the Sole Practitioners Group of Solicitors' Journal

By Nicholas Woolf, Director and Principal of Nicholas Woolf & Co

The case of Alan Burnell (Claimant) v (1) Trans-Tag Limited and (2) Robert Aird (Defendants) (Judgment 28-05-21) is an interesting read. All 83 pages of the Judgment of Deputy Judge Greenbank in the High Court conjure up pictures of characters who we are all familiar with in our litigation practices. The facts are lengthy and technical but the lessons learned from eight days in the High Court are fairly straightforward.

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The case of Euro Accessories Limited [2021] recently heard in the High Court highlights the lack of protection minority shareholders can have. It is also a salutary reminder that the provisions in the Articles of Association of a company should be precisely drawn and preferably together with a suitable shareholders agreement, if minority rights are to be protected.

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Many companies, especially family and smaller companies, run their business on an informal basis and fail to comply with or document properly that they have complied with essential elements of company law. It is a false economy. It can easily result in years of litigation and even loss of a good business.

This is amply illustrated in the recent case of Fairford Water Ski Club Limited, Respondent v 1) Craig Ronald Cohoon and 2) Craig Watersports (a firm) Appellants. The issue before the Court of Appeal was a director failing to properly declare his interest in contracts.

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My Original Article

On 20th January 2020 I wrote an article on this little understood but important topic
https://www.nicholaswoolf.com/images/news/pdf/2020/Inspection_of_a_Companys_Members_Register_for_a_Proper_Purpose.pdf.
article should be read in combination with this update. The article considered in some detail the case of Houldsworth Village Management Company Limited v Keith Barton [2019] EWHC 3590 (Ch). That case which was heard in the High Court was appealed and judgment was given in the Court of Appeal on 29th July 2020.

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Coronavirus is a global crisis, which is likely to affect us individually one way or another. Four essential issues that need consideration are:

1. Cash Flow

Businesses rely on cash flow, no matter how large or small they are. Cash flow is often tight and, therefore, should be addressed early. Most business’ largest cash flow items are rents, staff costs, VAT and other taxes, pressure from suppliers. It is best to address these issues early.

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Time Is Of The Essence

The Problem

In order to determine who the members of a company registered in England and Wales are it is possible to do so by inspecting the company register. Indeed this is likely to be the only reliable and accepted source of information and can be of considerable importance.

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I was privileged to be asked to be a member of a delegation arranged by the Law Society of England & Wales to travel to Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia. The Law Society International Department arranged a number of meetings on 1st and 2nd July. Given the 12½ hour flight to Kuala Lumpur, and the other meetings I had arranged myself, I left early arriving late on Thursday evening.

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"Business is lost on price rather than gained. Although this may force prices down, it makes it difficult for solicitors to provide a proper full professional service at a profit. The incorporation of AI and blockchain may assist in reducing solicitors' fixed expenses in some areas of law."

Nicholas Woolf has been extensively quoted in the Bellwether Discussion Paper 2019: The Changing Face of Law, and in the Law Society Gazette, discussing the challenges posed and opportunities arising out of the SRA's price transparency rules.

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