New year thoughts from London based solicitor Tiffany Wan

By way of introduction, as this is my first article with Nee Hao, my name is Tiffany Wan. I am a solicitor working in Commercial Property for Edwards Duthie, a regional law firm in London.

My passion for law and interest in journalism has presented me this opportunity to write on this platform to reach out a wider audience.

Many of us will be busy preparing for Chinese New Year which commences Saturday 28th January 2017. Preparation reaps the rewards of a smooth family feast and the following of our traditions and cultural customs.

Through my years of working within the legal field; I appreciate fully the need to be prepared. As a lawyer, I often have to prepare for the unexpected. As prevention is always better than cure.

Time over the new year can be used to reflect on what preparations can be made to avoid obvious “stumbling blocks” in both personal and work life. Also we can review the outstanding “to do list” which had been pending all this time.

Here are a few legal examples of ways we can “prepare”: –

Purchasing a business premises or taking on a business lease?

Conducting the correct searches for the type and location of the property and raising the appropriate enquiries tailored for each property and individual purchaser are important aspects of pre-contract investigations. These highlight any potential problem areas from the start. Proper knowledge of the lease clauses can prevent breaches of the lease terms.

Purchasing a Company?

The need to carry out proper due diligence to obtain full and proper disclosure can reveal crucial commercial information for a Purchaser.

Setting up your Company or entering a new Partnership?

Tightly formed Terms & Conditions should be drafted from the onset to govern a Company’s relationship with its customers and suppliers. This avoids for instance late payment from creditors and unnecessary litigation. A comprehensive Partnership Agreement and a Partner’s understanding of it would be useful in knowing one’s rights and obligation within the Business.

Getting married?

Pre-nuptial agreements give an indication as to parties’ intentions on the division of assets/wealth should separation take place. Pre-nuptial agreements should be drawn up and considered as far forward from the date of marriage as possible.

Building up wealth and accumulating assets?

Individuals should carry out sufficient tax planning and think about making a Will to distribute property. A Lasting Power of Attorney helps facilitate the running of Property & Financial matters of someone who is unable to act themselves; but this can only be executed whilst the person has mental capacity.

Employing staff or taking on new Employment?

Formation of comprehensive employment contracts enhances employer-employee relations and avoids future disputes. Should problems arise at a later stage, without recourse to proper contract provisions, it may result in litigation which brings on unnecessary costs and for a business damage to the reputation of the Company itself.

I hope the pointers set out above, give readers a taster of things which one can plan and do legally to live a less problematic lifestyle.

In future articles; I hope to explore with Nee Hao readers contemporary areas of interest within law and update you on interesting legal developments. 

Tiffany Wan

Commercial Property Lawyer

[email protected]

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