• 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.
  • Our Corporate Practice has a reputation for delivering sound legal advice, backed up with extensive industry experience and credentials, to get the best results from technology and digital media transactions.
  • In the fast-changing world of employment law our clients need practical, commercial and cost-effective advice. They get this from our team of employment law professionals.
  • Our team of leading IP advisors deliver cost-effective, strategic and commercial advice to ensure that your IP assets are protected and leveraged to add real value to your business.
  • Our litigation practice advises on all aspects of dispute resolution, with a particular focus on ownership, exploitation and infringement of intellectual property rights and commercial disputes in the technology sector.
  • We have an industry-leading reputation for our outsourcing expertise. Our professionals deliver credible legal advice to providers and acquirers of IT and business process outsourcing (BPO) services.
  • We work alongside companies, many with disruptive technologies, that seek funding, as well as with the venture capital firms, institutional investors and corporate ventures that want to invest in exciting business opportunities.
  • Our regulatory specialists work alongside Kemp Little’s corporate and commercial professionals to help meet their compliance obligations.
  • 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.
  • Acting for market leaders and market changers within the media industry, we combine in-depth knowledge of the structural technology that underpins content delivery and the impact of digitisation on the rights of producers and consumers.
  • We understand the risks facing this sector and work with our clients to conquer those challenges. Testimony to our success is the continued growth in our team of professionals and the clients we serve.
  • We advise at the forefront of the technological intersection between life sciences and healthcare. We advise leading technology and data analytics providers, healthcare institutions as well as manufacturers of medical devices, pharmaceuticals and biotechnological products.
  • For clients operating in the online sector, our teams are structured to meet their commercial, financing, M&A, competition and regulatory, employment and intellectual property legal needs.
  • Our focus on technology makes us especially well positioned to give advice on the legal aspects of digital marketing. We advise on high-profile, multi-channel, cross-border cases and on highly complex campaigns.
  • The mobile and telecoms sector is fast changing and hugely dependent on technology advances. We help mobile and wireless and fixed telecoms clients to tackle the legal challenges that this evolving sector presents.
  • 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 UK Budget 2013 - Top Ten Announcements for Entrepreneurs and Technology Companies

The UK Budget for 2013 was handed down yesterday, set against a background of grim economic news.  However, despite this, the Chancellor did manage to introduce some measures specifically aimed at supporting businesses. 

The Top 10 Budget announcements of interest to entrepreneurs and small business investors, together with companies in the technology sector are as follows:  

  1. Corporation Tax Rates - The main rate of corporation tax is being cut again.  It will be reduced to 20% from April 2015.  This will (apart from Ireland) give the UK the lowest main rate of corporation tax among all of the major economies. This reduction will harmonise the main rate of corporation tax with the small profits rate of corporation tax.  This will provide the added bonus of abolishing the complicated marginal relief calculations.
  2. Increase in Research and Development (“R&D”) Tax Credits - To improve the incentives for companies to conduct their R&D activities in the UK, the Government announced that the “above the line” R&D tax credit to be introduced for large companies will be increased from 9.1% to 10%.  Whilst this doesn’t seem to be much of an increase, it is a significant improvement on the existing large company relief (which would be worth around 6% when the 20% corporation tax rate comes into effect). There is no change in the relief available to small and medium sized companies.
  3. Seed Enterprise Investment Scheme (“SEIS”) - There has been a disappointing response to the introduction of the SEIS incentives, with intensive lobbying to the Treasury to avoid changes that would further damage a scheme that has struggled to gain widespread support. The Treasury has bowed to this lobbying, and has announced that from April 2013 and until April 2015 there will be an extension to the capital gains tax (“CGT”) relief available to taxpayers who reinvest their gains into qualifying seed companies.  However, the existing 100% exemption from CGT on amounts reinvested will be reduced to a 50% exemption. There will also be an amendment to the existing rules so that an investment in companies established by corporate formation agents can qualify for the scheme. These changes will be useful for start up businesses attempting to raise funding.
  4. National Insurance Contributions (“NIC”) Relief - From April 2014 employers will benefit from an allowance of £2,000 per annum.  This is a welcome move, which will directly reduce the cost of employing people.
  5. Enterprise Management Incentives (“EMI”) - As announced in the 2012 Budget, the Government will extend entrepreneurs relief to include gains made on shares acquired through the exercise of EMI options.  The relief will apply even if the employee does not hold a 5% shareholding in the company.  The requirements are that qualifying option must have been granted at least 12 months prior to the date of the share sale by the employee and that the individual was an employee or officer of the company for the 12 month period ending on the date of the share sale. Coupled with the recent increase in the individual EMI limit to £250,000, the availability of entrepreneurs relief will mean that EMI options are likely to be the best way for a company to incentivise its employees.
  6. Creative Industries Reliefs - As previously announced, new corporation tax reliefs will be introduced for the video games, animation and high end television industries.  The animation and high end television reliefs are expected to be approved shortly, and will come into effect on 1 April 2013.  The video games tax relief will be introduced shortly after this date, as it is likely to take a little longer to obtain state aid approval. In addition, the Government announced plans to start a consultation on tax reliefs for the visual effects industry.  Presumably, any such relief will be similar to the reliefs being introduced for the video games, animation and high end television industries, but at the moment there is no detail available. 
  7. Stamp Duty Abolition - The Government has announced that it will consult on the abolition of stamp duty on shares quoted on growth markets, such as the Alternative Investment Market (“AIM”)
  8. Anti Avoidance - The much discussed general anti-avoidance rule will come into effect and will apply to arrangements entered into on or after the date of the Finance Act. This is intended to counteract tax advantages arising from highly abusive tax avoidance schemes where other, more specific, anti-avoidance measures have been unsuccessful.  An independent advisory panel is being established to provide an opinion as to whether particular arrangements constitute abusive tax avoidance or acceptable tax planning. However, the opinion of the panel will not be binding on HMRC.  There is also the usual announcement regarding a crackdown on offshore tax avoidance, including new agreements with Jersey, Guernsey and the Isle of Man.  Further, there will be a consultation on measures to combat tax avoidance involving LLPs – any businesses operating as an LLP should carefully monitor this consultation, as it may necessitate changes to the LLP agreement to avoid additional tax charges from 2014.
  9. Employee Shareholder Shares - The Budget included further details about the proposed new “employee shareholder” employment status.  The provisions are due to take effect from 1 September 2013, and the employee will be deemed to pay £2,000 for his employee shareholder shares.  This will have the effect of preventing the first £2,000 of the value of the shares from being subject to both income tax and NICsHowever, the future of this scheme must now be in doubt following the rejection by the House of Lords of the enacting legislation this morning.  This is really “watch this space”.
  10. Reduction in Beer Duty - Beer drinkers can be pleased by a penny cut in the price of a pint and the scrapping of the planned 3 pence rise in beer duty!

In addition to the ten announcements discussed above, the Budget contains a number of other tax measures.  If you would like more information on the points discussed above or any other announcements in the Budget, please contact us.