The Business of Succession
Wedlake Bell acts as a legal custodian to family offices and family businesses.
Our specialist service looks after the full spectrum of matters that affect family offices and businesses – big, medium and small – equipping you with the legal foundations for succession after succession.
Succession is our business. Our practice of specialist real estate, private client and corporate lawyers dates back to 1780. Indeed, we’ve been through succession ourselves.
Our team of highly experienced lawyers can guide you through matters from advice on choosing a corporate structure, to the effective management of real estate interests, through to succession planning.
How we make you generation proof
According to Forbes, your family office or business may not make it through its first succession. Family offices and businesses fall prey to myriad risks year-on-year, from cybersecurity, to investment plans, to succession.
But with the right, strategic legal counsel, you can make sure your family office or business’ continuity is not a function of the choices of succeeding generations, nor of the instability of markets – all the while, bolstering your underlying business development objectives.
Wedlake Bell currently provides first-class legal advice to family offices and businesses now enjoying their second, third and fourth generations.
For example, we act as your legal custodian to help you:
- Structure property deals in the most effective way so you can seize better deals, faster. Our Real Estate teams advise on every aspect of building a property portfolio, including development, purchase, ownership, management, rental, sale and all types of tax implications.
- Remain compliant with employment laws within the UK and internationally, especially amid the changing nature of employment practices with remote working. Our Business Services teams are empowered by iGlobal Law to help you ensure you follow country-specific employment, data and privacy laws in over 60 jurisdictions.
- Be guided through business-critical decisions to achieve positive results for the business and family. Our Corporate team is comprised of legal experts whose insights into commercial matters have helped everyone from start-ups to established multinational companies.
- Globalise assets in multiple jurisdictions, fully informed of how to make international transactions and issues, via our global networks. Our Trans European Law Firms Alliance has 600 legal experts across Europe, as well as Australia and China; USLAW, of which we are a member, has legal experts in over 160 offices around the world, including the USA, Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Chile, the Dominican Republic and China.
- Understand how to avoid disputes. Our Disputes Resolution teams work across all areas – Private Client, Business Services and Real Estate – to resolve potential issues before they become litigation.
- Handle family and divorce matters that could impact the wider business. Our expertise in dealing with family agreements, such as pre-nuptial agreements, means we can advise you on the positives and negatives of different options.
- Safeguard against cybersecurity threats and risks with advice from our data protection experts, who can help you keep your private data firmly in the right hands. Our data protection experts work across Business Services and Private Client practices ensure you remain compliant when globalising and outsourcing.
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The challenges of sustainable investing in a family office context
Sustainable investing is becoming mainstream for family offices and the move away from traditional for-profits investing will only accelerate over the next decade. Camilla Wallace explains further in this article… Read more →
Edward Fennell’s Legal Diary: News that family offices managing vast fortunes for wealthy individuals have increased their allocation to private equity from about 15 per cent in 2019 to a fifth last year.
Partner Matthew Braithwaite has shared his thoughts on the news that family offices managing fortunes for wealthy individuals have increased their allocation to private equity from about 15 per cent… Read more →
How can I protect the proceeds of my business sale abroad?
Partner Camilla Wallace’s answer to the reader’s question “How can I protect the proceeds of my business sale abroad?”, has been published in the Financial Times. Click here to read… Read more →
RISK MANAGEMENT AND TAX COMPLIANCE FOR FAMILY OFFICES
Family Offices – tax compliance during the pandemic As well as the standard tax compliance themes with which a family office must deal, the past year has presented a new… Read more →
ENTREPRENEURIAL FAMILIES IN A POST-COVID WORLD—WHERE WEALTH TRANSFER MEETS GOVERNANCE TRANSFER
Much has been written about “The Great Wealth Transfer” that is expected to happen over the coming years as Baby Boomers pass their wealth to next generations. Both the estimates… Read more →
Family offices in a post-pandemic world
Over the last ten years, family offices have become an increasingly common way for families with significant wealth to use a traditional business structure (“the family office”) to centralise and… Read more →
International family businesses remain agile during the Covid-19 pandemic
Whilst we have all stayed put in recent months as a consequence of swathes of restrictions on global travel that have been in place at various times during the COVID-19… Read more →
The Business of Succession In Conversation – Podcast 1: Business disposals: succession planning in light of Covid-19 and a changing tax landscape
Matt Braithwaite, Partner in our Private Client team along with Kevin O’Shea, an Executive Director and Wealth Planner at Julius Baer, look at family business disposals and how the Covid… Read more →
THE RISING IMPORTANCE OF SOCIAL CAPITAL FOR FAMILY OFFICES
It was recently reported in the British press that bragging rights could be earned amongst ultra-wealthy families and their family offices by paying more tax, not less. For the last… Read more →
Oliver Embley provides an overview of tax and family considerations when planning for the succession of a family business in the UK
Senior Associate in the Private Client team, Oliver Embley, writes for STEP Journal Plus on the tax and family issues to consider when planning for the succession of a family… Read more →
ACUMEN, CAPITAL AND PURPOSE: FAMILY OFFICE PRIVATE EQUITY INSIGHTS FOR 2021- CAMPDEN FB
Family offices can act as reliable providers of direct company equity and debt funding to successful private businesses who are finding it difficult to find sustainable sources of efficiently priced… Read more →
Why direct investing into private equity is an attractive option for family office investors, notwithstanding the challenges- Wealth Adviser
Private equity is an important asset class for family office investors principally because of the potential to earn attractive returns in a low yield interest environment but also because as… Read more →
Why performance needs to be more than just about financial return for family office investors- Wealth Adviser
Family offices are increasingly wanting to invest in stocks and funds that are both profitable and reflective of social values. The types of investing fulfil these aims: Environmental, social and… Read more →
Tatler Experts’ Corner: I’m about to inherit a stake in the family business, what should I be thinking about?
As part of the Tatler SOS Experts’ Corner, we delve into the tricky waters of trust and inheritance. Here Camilla Wallace from Wedlake Bell LLP weighs in on what to do ahead… Read more →
Shifting Sands – STEP Journal
In January 2020, 300 advisors from around the globe gathered for the third annual STEP Cayman International Wealth Structuring Forum (the Conference). We were honoured to hold the opening panel… Read more →
Bringing the next generation into the family business.
This article by Matt Braithwaite, a Partner in the Private Client team at Wedlake Bell was originally commissioned for and published by CampdenFB.com. The issues Matt explores are relevant to… Read more →
Family businesses, succession planning and trusts
The article was originally published by eprivateclient on 13 November 2018. Camilla Wallace, partner and head of private client & Rosalyn Breedy, partner and head of funds, Wedlake Bell. It… Read more →
GRASP THE NETTLE TO SECURE THE FUTURE OF YOUR FAMILY BUSINESS
With only one-in-eight family businesses making it to the third generation, what is the secret of their success? Rosalyn Breedy, corporate solicitor at Wedlake Bell, has been advising family dynasties for… Read more →
Professionalising The Family Business
This article examines some of the dynamics of family businesses, with lessons for wealth managers catering to these organisations and their owners.The following article on matters around family-owned businesses is… Read more →
Gunshots, litigation and heartbreak – lessons in how to avoid disputes in family businesses
This article was published in Wealthbriefing on 26 May 2016 The death of Huang Jung- tu, Taiwanese founder of Mayfull’s Food corporation, tragically resulted in a board room shootout and… Read more →
We consider Wedlake Bell to be an instrumental partner to our family office. Through the years, they’ve shown they have deep expertise in the business critical matters and are able to advise with our best interests in mind.
— Client Testimonial