• At Kemp Little, we are known for our ability to serve the very particular needs of a large but diverse technology client base. Our hands-on industry know-how makes us a good fit with many of the world's biggest technology and digital media businesses, yet means we are equally relevant to companies with a technology bias, in sectors such as professional services, financial services, retail, travel and healthcare.
  • Kemp Little specialises in the technology and digital media sectors and provides a range of legal services that are crucial to fast-moving, innovative businesses.Our blend of sector awareness, technical excellence and responsiveness, means we are regularly ranked as a leading firm by directories such as Legal 500, Chambers and PLC Which Lawyer. Our practice areas cover a wide range of legal issues and advice.
  • Our Commercial Technology team has established itself as one of the strongest in the UK. We are ranked in Legal 500, Chambers & Partners and PLC Which Lawyer, with four of our partners recommended.
  • Our team provides practical and commercial advice founded on years of experience and technical know-how to technology and digital media companies that need to be alert to the rules and regulations of competition law.
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  • With a service that is commercial and responsive to our clients’ needs, you will find our tax advice easy to understand, cost-effective and geared towards maximising your tax benefits.
  • At Kemp Little, we advise clients in diverse sectors where technology is fundamental to the ongoing success of their businesses.They include companies that provide technology as a service and businesses where the use of technology is key to their business model, enabling them to bring their product or service to market.
  • We bring our commercial understanding of digital business models, our legal expertise and our reputation for delivering high quality, cost-effective services to this dynamic sector.
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  • Whether ERP, Linux or Windows; software or infrastructure as a service in the cloud, in a virtualised environment, or as a mobile or service-oriented architecture, we have the experience to resolve legal issues across the spectrum of commercial computer platforms.
  • Our clients trust us to apply our solutions and know-how to help them make the best use of technology in structuring deals, mitigating key risks to their businesses and in achieving their commercial objectives.
  • We have extensive experience of advising customers and suppliers in the retail sector on technology development, licensing and supply projects, and in advising on all aspects of procurement and online operations.
  • Our legal professionals work alongside social media providers and users in relation to the commercial, privacy, data, advertising, intellectual property, employment and corporate issues that arise in this dynamic sector.
  • Our years of working alongside diverse software clients have given us an in-depth understanding of the dynamics of the software marketplace, market practice and alternative negotiating strategies.
  • Working with direct providers of travel services, including aggregators, facilitators and suppliers of transport and technology, our team has developed a unique specialist knowledge of the sector
  • Your life as an entrepreneur is full of daily challenges as you seek to grow your business. One of the key strengths of our firm is that we understand these challenges.
  • Kemp Little is trusted by some of the world’s leading luxury brands and some of the most innovative e-commerce retailers changing the face of the industry.
  • HR Bytes is an exclusive, comprehensive, online service that will provide you with a wide range of practical, insightful and current employment law information. HR Bytes members get priority booking for events, key insight and a range of employment materials for free.
  • FlightDeck is our portal designed especially with start-up and emerging technology businesses in mind to help you get your business up and running in the right way. We provide a free pack of all the things no-one tells you and things they don’t give away to get you started.

The government's red tape challenge

This article takes a brief look at three of the main corporate aspects of the latest version of the Small Business, Enterprise and Employment Bill (Bill), which is part of the Government’s continued drive for greater transparency and accountability for UK businesses.

Abolition of the Annual Return

The draft Bill will abolish the annual return and in its place will be a “confirmation statement” confirming that since the company’s last confirmation statement, the company has notified Companies House of details of its registered office, directors, company secretaries and people with significant control and where a company keeps its registers (if not at its registered office).

In practice, there is little difference between this information and the information a company currently provides in the annual return.  The advantage is that this statement can be filed any time the company wishes and therefore a company could file it when already making another filing at Companies House, for example, the filing of its accounts.

The confirmation statement will still need to be made at least once in every 12 months.

Abolition of Corporate Directors                           

The draft Bill prohibits the appointment of new corporate directors and provides that existing corporate directors appointments will automatically cease 12 months after the new law comes into force.   There will be some limited exceptions to this general prohibition, although they are likely to be narrowly defined.  Unless an exemption is introduced to allow corporate directors of a corporate pension scheme, this change could create problems for pension schemes as most schemes are set up on the basis that there are either individual trustees or a single corporate.

This change will not cause most companies a problem as all companies have needed at least one natural person on the board since the introduction of the Companies Act 2006 but it is likely to result in an increase in the number of individuals taking on the duties and responsibilities of directors. 

Abolition of Bearer Shares

Bearer shareholders, which historically have been used mainly for structuring and tax planning are being abolished and bearer shareholders will have a nine month period in which to voluntarily surrender their bearer shares for conversion into registered shares.  Companies will be obliged to apply to court to cancel bearer shares if they are not surrendered within the surrender period.

Companies will want to avoid applying to court for the cancellation of any bearer shares as this will incur costs as the companies will have to fund the payment into court of the amount of share capital to be cancelled.

The Bill has now moved to committee stage in the House of Lords.

For more information, please contact Deborah Angel, Corporate Associate