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Virtually In-House

Having a dedicated in-house legal team is something to which businesses often aspire and the Waterfront Virtually In-House services can give you all the benefits of your own in-house resources, without the overheads associated with employing a team of experts.

The Virtually In-House services are flexible and cost-effective, designed to allow you to decide in which areas you need Virtually In-House support.

Each service gives you access to a dedicated solicitor who will spend time building up a really in-depth knowledge of you and your business. This allows us to proactively recommend actions and solutions, rather than simply responding reactively to your requirements. It also redresses that the unequal bargaining power that smaller businesses often experience when dealing with larger customers or suppliers, who have an in-house team to call on at any time.

Each Virtually In-House service can be taken as a standalone service, or two or more may be combined – sometimes using the same individual – to provide a dedicated, expert resource for your business.

Most of our lawyers have worked in-house prior to joining Waterfront; and so understand the difference between providing a commercially focused, results driven, in-house service and the more traditional law firm model.

Pricing for our Virtual In-House services is agreed with each client on a case-by-case basis, allowing us to tailor a solution that suits you but is generally a fixed monthly cost for an agreed number of hours at a fraction of the cost of hiring your own in-house team!

If you would like a price for your business requirements please contact our solicitors in London today.

Virtual Legal Director

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Virtual Legal Director

Your “Virtual Legal Director” will be an experienced, senior lawyer who attends your board meetings or sales pipeline meetings, and will be on hand to provide experienced commercially focused legal advice to senior members of staff. 

Although we will tailor the service to your requirement, typically your Virtual Legal Director will attend a meeting once a quarter, and provide advice at a strategic level to enable you and your team to make fully informed decisions about your business. We can anticipate issues before they arise, and suggest alternative courses of action to prevent small problems escalating into larger ones. 

Your Virtual Legal Director may be particularly useful when discussing establishing channel partner or distribution arrangements, and other sales strategies that require relatively complex legal frameworks behind them. Often we find that the most useful role that your Virtual Legal Director performs is being able to identify at a very early point issues that would not otherwise be apparent until much later, saving you management time and money. 

To enquire about a Virtual Legal Director, contact us today.

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Virtual HR Adviser

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Virtual HR Adviser

For many businesses, particularly SMEs, there is no business justification in employing a professional HR team - often their services aren’t required on a full or even part-time basis. It is typically when, for example, staff join and leave, if an issue with a specific employee arises or if there is a significant change to the business that HR input is needed.  

However, businesses may also require HR support from time to time to ensure that best practice is followed and frequent changes in employment law are complied with. HR professionals are an expensive resource and  also need regular  training – this is an additional cost to your business  and, unless you have more than one person in the role, you may often have periods of time where you will have no HR cover. 

All of this means that, when an employment issue suddenly arises, managing directors, finance directors or other senior managers must spend valuable time dealing with what can be extremely complex legal issues where significant financial liability can arise if the matter is not handled by a professional. This is where your “Virtual HR Adviser” can help. 

  • On an ad hoc basis, we can quickly review the employment law issue at hand and advise you on how to deal with it on a practical and commercial basis. 
  • On a more general level, our employment lawyers can provide your business with an initial review of your employment practices and can help you put in place the necessary documents such as standard contracts of employment, staff policies and handbooks which will assist in the smooth running of your business from an HR perspective.
     

Our overall aim in providing this cost effective Virtual HR Adviser service is to free up directors and senior managers from the burden of complex HR and employment law issues so that they can focus on driving their businesses forward.  


If you would like to get in touch with our employment team about a Virtual HR adviser, please contact us on 020 7234 0200 or employment@waterfrontsolicitors.com

Anthony Purvis

Partner, Employment Law

Anthony offers succinct and practical advice to both businesses and individuals on various issues including redundancies, unfair and wrongful dismissals claims, unlawful discrimination, grievance and disciplinary procedures, TUPE, staff handbooks, contracts of employment, restrictive covenants and their enforcement, settlement agreements and the employment aspects of corporate reorganisations or sales. Read more...

Matthew Hodson 

Associate, Employment Law

Matthew handles all types of employment matters. He represents and advises employees and employers on issues involving whistleblowing, discrimination, redundancies, unfair and wrongful dismissal, TUPE, Working Time Regulations, restrictive covenants and settlement agreements.  Read more...

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Legal Health Check

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Legal Health Check

In an ideal world all new businesses would have unlimited access to a lawyer from day one. However, in reality and entirely understandably, many start-ups do not prioritise legal support until there is some cash in the bank or they encounter a problem. As a result, the start-up's legal documentation and administration is not as organised or as legally watertight as it could be. This can lead to problems as the company grows and, further down the line, failings as a start-up can lead to problems if the owners decide to sell the business. For example:

  • IPR ownership issues - if the original staff members were engaged as contractors or freelancers there may be questions over the ownership of intellectual property rights.
  • Unfavourable contract terms - the business may have been in a weak bargaining position for contract negotiations with the first few customers or suppliers and the early contracts may therefore contain unfavourable terms.
  • Unprotective standard terms and conditions - the business may have obtained its standard documents from a legal document website, and these may not be entirely suitable to meet the needs of the growing business.
  • No written agreement between owners - it may not be entirely clear what the rights and responsibilities of the various business partners/shareholders are.
  • Failure to comply with legislation - insufficient attention may have been paid to the enormous body of law in the employment, data protection, consumer protection and many other fields, which can lead to a whole variety of different problems.
     

If you worry that any of the above might apply to you, Waterfront's Legal Health Check can help! We adapt this Virtual In-House Service for each client's particular requirements, but typically the Legal Health Check involves reviewing:

  • Intellectual Property
  • Shareholder agreements, partnership agreements and incorporation documents
  • Customer and key supplier contracts
  • Employee contracts


Following our review, we produce a written report providing a gap analysis between your business model and your current documentation and IP protection, with recommendations where appropriate.

We often conduct a Legal Health Check when a business is about to be sold or seek investment, however, it is much better to get your legal affairs in order early on if possible – the earlier the better in our opinion!

The Legal Health Check can also assist newly appointed in-house lawyers, to help them get up and running as quickly as possible focusing on the assisting the growth of the business rather than dealing with a backlog of old issues.

To enquire about Legal Health Check contact us today.

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Virtual In House Lawyer

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Virtual In House Lawyer

Your “Virtual In-House Lawyer” will provide the sort of broad commercial legal services that any other in-house lawyer would provide.  

Prior to commencing provision of the service, we will discuss your requirements with you and identify which member of our team is best placed to provide the types of services you most often require. That member of the team will spend time getting to know you and your business and will then be ready to provide all the services that a general commercial in-house lawyer would usually undertake, including:

  • Drafting, updating and negotiating your contracts
  • Responding to your legal queries
  • Advising you of any changes in the law and what you need to do to address them
  • Assessing your usual practices and procedures and flagging up any issues
  • Attending meetings with you as your legal counsel
  • Basic IP, employment law, data protection and company secretarial advice (with assistance from experts available if necessary).


To enquire about a Virtual In House Lawyer, contact us today.

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Virtual Data Protection Officer

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Virtual Data Protection Officer

In some European states it is now mandatory for many businesses to have an independent data protection officer. Data protection law is currently undergoing wholescale review by the European Commission and some experts expect the rules regarding appointment of a data protection officer to be rolled out throughout Europe within the next few years. In any event, if your business collects and uses personal data, particularly if this is done as part of your core offering, it is extremely important to ensure that you are complying with your legal requirements.

It is very common for businesses to engage a data protection and privacy expert to conduct an audit of its practices. Once the audit has take place, the business clearly needs advice and assistance to carry out any recommended changes and often to provide staff training as well to ensure that there are no future breaches.

Your “Virtual DPO” will do much more than that...

Every time your business changes its practices, it will need to assess the impact of those changes on its use of personal data. There will also be significant changes to the law over the next few years (as there have been over the last year or so). Your business needs ongoing support and advice from an expert in the field to ensure that you not only get up to date with the law but that your business, and most importantly your staff, stay that way.

To enquire about a Virtual Data Protection Officer, contact us today.

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